Radiesse™ - Dermal Fillers

This medical product is developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and BioForm Medical and was launched in 2000 as Radiance FN in the US and in 2004 in Europe under the name Radiesse™. It is primarily designed for the correction of large soft tissue as well as facial shaping and contouring. Calcium hydroxylapatite is the major, functional component of Radiesse and has been used in the body quite safely for over twenty-five years, with practitioners finding it convenient and comfortable for treating patients. It is becoming extremely popular in the UK when it comes to treating conditions relating to facial aesthetics.

It is made up of aqueous gel that contains sodium carboxymethylcellulose, which is basically synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres suspended in a gel carrier with high purity water and glycerine. It is estimated to be 70 per cent gel and 30 per cent CaHA carrier by volume. The naturally occurring calcium and phosphate ions in human tissue make up the CaHA constituents of this product, with no human or animal components being present in the product.

In the process of making Radiesse, calcium and phosphate are bonded together into particles of calcium hydroxylapatite. The CaHA particles are smooth and spherical and form a scaffold once the substance is injected. The scaffold provides a place for new collagen to grow from the body's tissue. The particles will break down completely and be metabolised through the body's mechanism, with the gel carrier dissolving in a few months after treatment. After the breakdown of the particles only the new structure of collagen is left.

Some of the conditions which can be treated include shallow cheeks, nasolabial folds, radial lip lines, blemishes and depressions, correction of nose and chin indentations, and marionette lines. It should not be used in people with existing or pre-existing medical conditions, those taking other medications such as aspirin and those with other implants which must be removed first. Always consult a doctor before having treatment.

The product provides a longer effect after treatment than other treatments in its range, commonly lasting over an 18 month period or longer. The manufacturers confirm that not many cases of negative effects have been reported, apart from lumpiness at the injected region, which is largely due to incorrect placement of the substance at the time of treatment. Extensive testing of this product has been carried out spanning over eight years and the results are satisfying. Costs normally vary from £150 to £450 per 1.3cc.