Will Restylane Show Up on MRI or CT Scans?

Will Restylane injected in the naso-labial lines 5 months ago (beginning of November) show up on a CT Scan or MRI? Are there any issues with having either scan done with the Restylane being there? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Juvederm showing on MRI or CT scan

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Juvederm and other hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane, etc) can show up on MRI and CT scans as soft tissue.

Radiesse (a Calcium Salt)) will show up as a Calcium deposit. If injected near a bone, as it often is on the malar bone, it can appear to be a bone abnormality. I had an experience with such a case. Eventually the Radiesse was reabsorbed.

But Juvederm couldn't cause any such problems.

Hyaluronic acid products can be seen on CT and MRI scans

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I did some experiments on myself a few years ago, and found that Juvéderm®, Restylane® [and presumably other hyaluronic acid based fillers] can be seen on both CT and MRI scans, and also on high resolution ultrasound.

These products do not interfere in any way with the scans, and are not affected by the scans.

It is a good thing that they are easy to see on the scans, because this makes it easier to locate them in the event of a rare problem, or for research purposes.

Kevin C. Smith, MD
Niagara Falls Dermatologic Surgeon

Restylane and Juvederm won't interfere with CT or MRI scans

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Fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm won't obstruct other anatomy or lesions on CT or MRI scans so the radiologist will not have difficulty interpreting the results. There may be slight thickening of the soft tissues within the plane of the injection.  Interestingly, Radiesse, is opague and can be seen on dental x-rays but tends not to create difficulty for the dentist to read the films.

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

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Restylane will not show up on a CT scan or on an MRI scan

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Restylane will not show up on a CT scan or on an MRI scan.  You may see a little thickening of the tissue which may look like swelling, but you won’t see the actual Restylane.  It won’t affect the results.

Restylane and CT/MRI Scans

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You can have either scan while the Restylane is there without ill effects.  Since Restylane is similar to cartilage, I think it would be radiolucent and not show up on xray or Ct scan.  MRI shows radiolucent (clear tissues) but I'm not sure the volume of Restylane used would be sufficient for the MRI to pick it up.  Best advise, tell the Rdaiologist what you have and where it's placed before the scan.

Dermal fillers can show up on imaging studies but not cause problems with them

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Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm or Restylane will just show up as additional soft tissue.  Radiesse has calcium hydroxylapatite crystals in it, so it will show up as bony material on imaging.  The radiologist needs to be aware of a history of filler use in the area being imaged.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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.