Saturday, November 15, 2008

FDA Report on Wrinkle Filler problems

This week the FDA said that it had received 930 reports of health problems from wrinkle fillers over the last 6 years. These problems included facial weakness , disfigurement and even rare, but potential life-threatening events such as severe allergic reactions. Other more common problems include minor swelling. The FDA does not identify which fillers are the culprits, whether they are FDA approved products and whether they were injected in the offices of qualified cosmetic dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Needless to say my patients are already asking me whether they should be getting wrinkle fillers or whether I, as a cosmetic dermatologist and an attorney, am comfortable giving fillers. The answer is a simple one. I am totally comfortable with doing this and my patients love the results.

I have been giving wrinkle fillers for over 20 years. I have treated tens of thousands of patients with the FDA approved products. These include Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Preville Silk, Sculptra, Zyderm, Zyplast, Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast and Evolence. All are FDA approved in the US. Of course there are risks to any procedure. You must feel comfortable with whom you are seeing. The injector of the filler must be experienced and qualified. That being said, I have never ever seen anybody with a life threatening event. Of course swelling can occur and yes occasionally a patient needs a little hand holding.

I am not only comfortable giving my patients fillers injections, I am also comfortable giving them to my family members and even getting them myself. The issue is not whether reactions can occur. Of course they can. It must be remembered that millions and millions of wrinkle filler injections have been given with success. The incidence of complications is never zero for anything. The key is to be sure your physician is using a FDA approved filler and that he or she is experienced. I need some more filler in my smile lines and will certainly get more done to me.

David J. Goldberg, MD, JD
Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY and NJ
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center

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