11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Radiesse
- Last updated: 3 months ago
Injectable fillers are popular non-surgical treatments to enhance and refresh your look. There are no shortage of options either, with multiple treatments producing similar results. The question becomes which injectable is right for you.
Radiesse is an FDA-approved filler commonly used to treat wrinkles and lines around your mouth, hollows in your cheeks, and loose skin on the back of your hands. We collected the expertise of RealSelf doctors and the experience of RealSelf members to help guide you on your decision as you decide if Radiesse is the right treatment for you.
1. Am I a good candidate for Radiesse?
Radiesse is designed to restore volume in your mid and lower face. While it isn’t a cure-all for every part of your face, it’s best suited to help with nasolabial folds, mouth-corner creases, hollow temples, cheek volume, weak chins, jowls or sagging jaw lines, and crepey skin on the back of hands, according to Dr. Kory Kitagawa, a Honolulu dermatologist, in a RealSelf Q&A.
The treatment might be right for you if you are looking for temporary improvement in one of those areas. It’s important to note that like all fillers, the effects of Radiesse are not permanent.
“Radiesse is an excellent 'foundational filler' meaning it should not be placed too superficially,” said Dr. Anil Shah, a Chicago facial plastic surgeon, said in a RealSelf Q&A. “An experienced injector will advise on the best filler and location for you.”
2. What you should consider when choosing a provider.
As with any filler, it is important that you receive treatment from an experienced and skilled provider. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be a board-certified surgeon. You should, however, be comfortable with the experience level and skill of your provider. Ask to see before and after pictures to verify the provider does good work. You should also have multiple consultations to ensure you find someone you trust.
“Certainly there are some excellent nurse injectors out there that are very experienced and have terrific outcomes,” said Dr. Donald Yoo, a Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. “However, there is a bit of risk involved because there is so much variability with non-M.D. injectors. While you may find an excellent one, you may also find an equally terrible one.”
You should clarify who will be performing the injections. You may be comfortable with a doctor on a consultation, but that won’t matter if a nurse on staff performs the injections.
3. What can be treated with Radiesse?
Radiesse is commonly used to enhance the look of cheeks. It is also a good option for the temple area, nasolabial folds, corners of the mouth, chin, and the back of your hands.
“Radiesse can be placed directly over the bone in the cheeks to give a natural lift and change the appearance of the face so that it looks younger by reversing the sagging of the cheeks that occurs with age,” said Dr. Kristina Tansavatdi, a Los Angeles facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. “In the jawline, Radiesse can be used in front of the sagging jowls in the prejowl sulcus to smooth out the jawline. The last area that Radiesse is really great for is in the folds around your smile.”
4. What to expect from a Radiesse treatment.
The actual treatment process for Radiesse is similar to any other injectable. After identifying the areas needing volume, your provider will make a series of injections. The actual number will be based on your needs and the provider's technique.
Treatments should be administered in your provider's office and can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes depending on the area(s) treated.
If you have any apprehension to needles, make sure you go over the exact details of your procedure. In a RealSelf Q&A, Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Otto Placik noted that Radiesse is a thicker product and “requires a relatively larger needle to deliver.”
5. Will I experience any pain, swelling, or bruising?
Injectable treatments can lead to temporary pain, swelling, or bruising. These shouldn’t be significant with Radiesse, especially if you go to a skilled provider who uses techniques to minimize side effects.
The pain should also be relatively minimal as most doctors include lidocaine with the injectable.
“With an experienced injector, you will be able to resume normal activity the following day,” said Dr. Steven Weiner, a Panama City, Fla., facial plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. “I tell my filler patients to avoid exercise for the first day to minimize bruising.”
6. Is there required downtime?
The amount of downtime you need will depend on how willing you are to resume normal activity while still showing some potential swelling or bruising.
“It did take five good days before I looked normal enough to return to work,” member shellseeker25 said in a RealSelf Review. “Give yourself a good week if you have an event.”
7. Tips to help you recover.
Beyond picking a skilled provider, there are some steps that can reduce your recovery time. In a RealSelf Q&A, Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Grant Stevens said avoiding blood thinners like aspirin, fish oil, Vitamin E, and other supplements. He also suggests avoiding alcohol the night before your treatment.
With any procedure, you should talk with your provider and alert them to any medication and supplements you take.
8. Potential side effects.
Beyond some initial swelling, bruising, or redness, the most common side effect is lumps. Lumps are a bigger concern when Radiesse is injected in areas with thin skin.
“As Radiesse is thicker than other fillers, it is best when used in areas that are predominantly bony and deeper tissue areas such as the jawline, cheek, and nose,” said Dr. Robert Sheffield, a Santa Barbara, Calif., plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. “It should not be injected in soft tissue areas such the lips or areas where the skin is thin such as under the eyelids or in the tear-trough region.”
9. Is it possible to dissolve Radiesse?
Unlike hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, it is not possible to dissolve Radiesse.
“Once injected, Radiesse treatments cannot be reversed,” Dr. Schwartz said in a RealSelf Q&A. “Radiesse is comprised of calcium-based microspheres suspended in a water-based gel. It is the same mineral component found in our bones and teeth.”
If you’re not happy with your results, the solution is time. The impact will eventually go away, it just might take 12 to 18 months for that to happen.
10. What are the potential results?
Radiesse results are all about added volume. When injected into hollow cheeks, Radiesse should produce a fuller look. When it is used for nasolabial folds, you should see softer lines.
Although the results aren’t permanent, they should last up to 18 months. Radiesse lasts longer compared to some other injectable fillers because it stimulates your skin to produce more collagen, according to Dr. Schwartz in a RealSelf Q&A.
In a RealSelf Q&A, Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mike Majmundar noted that “some patients with round faces or generous cheeks can have difficulty seeing results unless a larger amount of product is used.”
11. Was Radiesse worth it?
Radiesse has a 81% Worth It Rating among RealSelf members. For some, they received the result they were hoping for, including smoothing out lines, filling hollows, and refreshing their hands. For others, the results were more subtle than desired, or they experienced side effects because of a poor injection or an injection into an ill-advised area.
Individual results will vary based on the quality of your provider. Not only can improper technique impact the results in a negative way, but a provider using Radiesse in the wrong area can lead to unwanted or problematic results.
As always, it’s best to find an experienced and highly-skilled provider.
Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.