How rare is vascular occlusion with Radiesse?

This is tough to answer, but have you seen it in your practice w/your own patients or a one from another practitioner? I know it depends on the skill of the injector, that the H.A.s can be reversed, etc., but it has been reported by patients on Real Self and is frightening. I've had Radiesse twice with no incident and have loved the long lasting (almost 2 years) results. Plus it's economical in comparison to the H.A.s. My P.S. told me to "quit reading that stuff" suggesting I stay ignorant.

Doctor Answers 5

Vascular Occulsion From Radiesse or Other Fillers Like Juvederm or Restylane

Vascular occlusion is rare for all fillers, but can occur.  The issue with Radiesse is the complication is much more difficult to treat given the inability to reverse Radiesse if this were to occur.  Cannulas can prevent this from occuring and would be good for you to find a filler expert who uses cannulas.  Best, Dr. Emer.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

How rare is vascular occlusion

I had a patient come to me with vascular occlusion from Radiesse about 6 months ago. She was a previous patient who had moved away, and when she came back to town, she went to see a cheap injector in town who put Radiesse into her forehead and glabella area and caused vascular occlusion. It is the only time I have seen it with Radiesse. This patient read about vascular occlusion on RealSelf and made an appointment with me. Even though it was Radiesse and you cannot remove that product, I was able to help her and get it working correctly so that she had no long-term issues and is just fine. So, while vascular occlusion can happen with any filler, it is VERY rare. Remember that there are good and bad stories out there. The questions posed on RealSelf are that - questions about specific cases. There are also "reviews" where patients post awesome stories about their successes and happiness with various procedures. So it goes both ways. If you are comfortable with your injector and have had good experiences, then I very much doubt you have anything to worry about in proceeding with future treatments.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Vascular occlusion with Radiesse

Vascular occlusion with Radiesse is very rare but it can happen with any filler material. I have not had any incidence in my practice. You will often hear more of the bad than good because that is human nature. Unfortunately, as consumers we tend to report on Real Self and other sites when something goes wrong but rarely find the time to report our good experiences. Receiving Radiesse from an experienced injector who knows and understands the anatomy and uses proper injection techniques is the most important way to avoid this rare event. 

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Vascular Occlusion with Radiesse

Hi Chris.  Yoru question is a valid one, but the incidence of this happening is very low and it has never happened in our practice or to any of our injection associates.  

One of the ways in which good injectors will avoid this problem is by injecting "retrograde", which means that instead of releasing the product as the needle is penetrating the skin, the product is placed as the needle is being removed or pulled backward.  Using this technique safeguards against the product being forced into a blood vessel if the needle happens to be in one upon initial entry.  The bottom line is that experienced injectors know the risks and how to avoid them.  Good luck.

To see examples of before and after pictures of Radiesse injections for our Los Angeles patients, click on the link below.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Radiesse Complications

Thank you for he question. Vascular occlusion with Radiesse, or any filler actually, is a very rare event. The reason that people get worked up about Radiesse is that the filler is not immediately dissoluble like the HA fillers (hyaluronidase will not dissolve calcium hydroxyapatite). That said, if proper technique is used, and the provider knows the anatomy, this product is very safe. In fact, it's probably my favorite filler! I recommend that you go with a trusted, qualified injector. Having informed patients is a good thing -- but the information out there on the internet can be a bit sensationalized. 

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.