Radiesse® is a new injectable product for lip enlargement and filing of folds and lines of the skin of the face. The advantage of this product is its potential for a long lasting effect, perhaps several years or longer.

Radiesse® consists of calcium hydroxyapatite suspended in a gel of carboxymethylcellulose. Because calcium hydroxyapatite is a normal constituent of bone, it does not elicit a chronic inflammatory or immune response. For this reason, it is unnecessary to undergo skin testing, as required with collagen.

Calcium hydroxyapatite has been used in humans for a long time in prosthetic implants in dental, facial and orthopedic surgery. Injection of Radiesse® into the vocal cords and the bladder neck has shown that the product remains soft when injected into soft tissue and may last for years. Studies from Italy and suggest that Radiesse shows promise as a new agent for facial contouring with no serious side effects and reasonable efficacy and durability.

Radiesse® is not yet approved by the FDA for aesthetic uses, but approval is expected. It is presently permitted to be used as "off label" as Botox was used for facial wrinkles for seven years until 2002 when the FDA approved it for that purpose. Radiesse® may be used in folds, smile lines, scars and lips rather than collagen if the patient wants a longer lasting effect without concern for allergy. It appears to be much longer lasting than the much anticipated hyaluronic acid, Restylane which is still not available in the US.

Dr. Newkirk is enthusiastic about Radiesse® and he is making it available to patients.

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