Is Radiesse Safe with People with Lupus, Especially Long-Term?

I've had systemic lupus for over 19 years, it is under control with Plaquenil. I've had the patch test done, no problem. Is it safe to get Radiesse with lupus?

Doctor Answers 10

Is Radiesse safe in patients with Systemic Lupus?

Radiesse (Calcium Hydroxyapatite) is a substance so physiologic that it forms part of the bone.
I have seen a patient in whom Radiesse was injected a little too deeply and  a portion of  it  got attached  the maxillary bone and remained there  for over a year. The patient has Rhumatoid Arthritis and lymphocytic colitis.
The filling effects on the face, however, lasted only for 8 months.
Radiesse is one of the safest fillers. It stimulates production of Collagen by your own Dermal Cells (Fibroblasts) without involving the immune system.
However, I would recommend that you also discuss this matter  with your Rhumatologist.

Chicago Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

There is no controlled study showing people with Lupus having Radiesse

There is no controlled study showing people with Lupus having Radiesse. Radiesse is generally non-allergenic. We have treated people who have lupus with Radiesse without a problem. Usually the safe thing to do is to use just a small amount of Radiesse and see how you react to it. Often you can dilute Radiesse with an anesthetic and in these cases you could dilute it with larger amounts meaning you would be injecting less Radiesse. You could try that first. The hyaluronic acid products are usually safest in these situations because they cause less of a collagen and immune response.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Can I get Radiesse if I have Lupus?

Hi Tampa.  The answer to the question is that we don't know for sure.  Although Lupus is not currently a contraindication for Radiesse, there have not been any long term studies that we know of conducted on patients with your condition to determine the effects.  

Because no allergy tests are required and because calcium hydroxylapatite occurs naturally in the body, it's unlikely that injecting Radiesse would have any adverse effects.  In cases like yours, we always confer with physician that is managing your Lupus if there is any question about whether or not you should have the treatment.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Radiesse in Lupus Patients

I have injected Radiesse in lupus patients with no adverse reactions thus far.

As Radiesse is composed of Calcium Hydroxylapatite, it works by stimulating the body's own collagen production, rather than by injecting a foreign collagen. It seems logical for this to be safer for someone who has a "collagen" disease. However, there have been no long term studies showing its safety in this group of patients.

Appropriate use of sunblocks is even more important in lupus patients after Radiesse treatment.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Radiesse and lupus

There is no contraindication to having SLE and getting Raddiesse, but you have an autoimmune disease that is currently being suppressed. Lupus is a disease where your immune system is attacking the body- in theory, you could have a flare, that may necessitate increasing your plaquinil. If you have a flare- you would not know if it was due to the filler. Trying a HA filler may be safer- and maybe doing some test spots (on your arm) with different fillers will let you know if you are going to have a reaction. Speaking to your injecting physician about your concerns would be wise.

Purvisha Patel, MD
Germantown Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Radiesse is safe filler for Lupus patients

Radiesse is generally delivered into the deeper dermis below the problem areas of Lupus involvement. It is well tolerated in my patients with auto immune disease. I would use caution though if you are in an active stage with the malar rash. I would suggest Rheumatology control to minimize your condition, then proceed with Radiesse. I do not foresee any issues. Dr. G.

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

There does not seem to be an absolute contraindication to using Radiesse in patients with collagen vascular disease

in the olden days, some said that collagen vascular disease, such as lupus, could be avoided by the use of injectable collagen fillers, but this seems to have been disproven. Check with your primary care physician, but Radiesse, should not be a stimulus for a flare of lupus.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Radiesse is Safe in a Patient with Lupus

Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxylapatite, a substance found naturally in your bone structure.  It is mixed with a carrier known as carboxymethylcellulose, which is well tolerated by human beings.  I have never seen a study showing any evidence of safety concerns with Radiesse in the setting of an autoimmune disorder, nor have I seen problems anecdotally.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Radiesse, Lupus and Plaquenil

As an auto-immune disease with collagen vascular implications, this could raise a concern but for the most part, it appears to be safe. However, no long term studies have been completed to truly answer this question. I currently have a patient who is on plaquenil and has recieved no adverse effects while being injected with several vials of Radiesse over the past 3 years.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Radiesse is safe to use in patient with lupus.

Radiesse is a product that requires no allergy testing before use. It is used even in immunocompromised individuals without problems, and would be equally or more safe when used in a patient with lupus. Of course, with any injection there is a (very slight) possibility of infection, but this is usually when bacteria are introduced through the needle stick at the time of injection.

Radiesse consists of 25-45 micrometer diameter microspheres of Calcium Hydroxyapatite (CaHA) suspended in a sodium carboxymethylcellulose gel carrier. CaHA is a mineral substance naturally-occuring in teeth and bones. Over time both the gel carrier and the CaHA microspheres are dissolved and absorbed. The product is aimed at stimulating the patient's own collagen production as the dissolution process occurs over a year or so, which is how long Radiesse lasts for most individuals.

Radiesse is best for nasolabial folds, oral commissures, and cheek, chin, or pre-jowl areas, It is not good for fine lines, wrinkles, or where the skin is thin.

Rather than worrying about how the use of Radiesse might affect your lupus, I would suggest you focus your concerns on finding a board-certified physician who does lots of filler injections, and has extensive experience with Radiesse.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.