Hyaluronic Acid Gel (Restylane) Filler for Facial Rhytids: Lessons Learned From American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Member Treatment of 286 Patients

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Purpose:To review injection techniques and patient satisfaction with injection of Restylane in various facial areas by American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery members.Methods:Data from 286 patients treated with Restylane in nine American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery practices were abstracted to a spreadsheet for analysis.Results:Nine practices performed Restylane injections for 8.8 months on average (range, 2 to 28 months). Average practice volume per patient was 1.2 ml (range, 0.7 to 2.1 ml). Nine of nine practices injected the nasolabial and melolabial folds, 9 of 9 practices injected the lips, and 6 of 9 injected the glabella. Only 2 of 9 practices injected other fillers concurrently. Botox was injected concurrently by 8 of 9 practices. On a scale of 1 to 10, physicians rated average patient discomfort during Restylane injection 4.6 with topical anesthesia and 2.1 with injectable lidocaine, with or without topical anesthesia. The end point for injection was determined by visual cues, volume of injection, extrusion of the product, and palpation. “Problematic” complications, including bruising, swelling, bumpiness, and redness each had an incidence of 5% or less. Patient satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 had an average rating of 8.1, compared with that of Botox injection (8.9), upper blepharoplasty (8.9), and collagen injection (6.6). The source of Restylane patients was estimated to be existing Botox patients (45%); existing non-Botox patients (18%); word of mouth (14%); and new patients for other services (13%).Conclusions:Injection techniques, volume, end points, and anesthesia vary for different facial areas and between practices. Patients experience mild to moderate injection discomfort that is lessened with injectable lidocaine. Self-limited problems occur in about 5% of patients. Physician-determined patient satisfaction is perceived to be higher than that of collagen injection but slightly lower than that of botulinum toxin injection. The major source of Restylane patients was from existing practice patients, especially botulinum toxin patients.

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