Do Your Research - Palm Beach Gardens, FL

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I am 49 and just had my first Artefill cosult...

I am 49 and just had my first Artefill cosult today but I've been researching/watching Artefill since 2004. A brief history: The original product, Arteplast, had a high rate of granuloma formation due to irregularies in size, smoothness and electrical charge. The product was refined and became Artecoll in 1994 (perfectly smooth round poylmerized microspheres resist holding electrical charges) and has been used in Europe and Canada since 1997. Artefill is the US version approved in 2006. Please refer to JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery for details. Two important points I've learned for all to consider: 1) the product is like any other, there WILL be a wide range of reactions, an 2) this product is EXTREMELY TECHNIQUE SENSITVE, which means it is ALL about who is doing the injecting. The product isn't a filler, it's an actual implant, and it is ideally placed between the subdermal and subcutaneous tissues - for us consumers this means this is not for superficial lines/wrinkles or areas you move with regularity (like the neck). What is troubling is that many people don't seem to be given that whole range of possible complications AS WE EXPECT WE SHOULD, so this is where we have to do our own research, unfortunately. It's very confusing, especially when we feel the pull of wanting to look and feel better NOW. I am still researching it - I'm not satisfied about the immune response facts (or lack thereof) and though it appears there is a small % of inital adverse reactions reported (and my heart just breaks for every one I've read) there also appears a trend of adverse reactions reported years after the procedure-the data is sketchy. It isn't a brand new-baby product, but only being around since 1994 still makes this a toddler in the world of medicine in my humble opinion. Thank you all for sharing your own experiences here.

Consult Update = Decision

After additional research and consultation, I've come to the conclusion that I am NOT ready to make a commitment to Artefill for the following two reasons:
1. Immune Response Unclear/Unknown:
They can't (legally) say Artefill is permanent, but it APPEARS to be permanent by all accounts from Europe/Canada since 1997, so that IS important to consider: the immune response (to the PMMAs that remain in the skin and are designed to stimulate one's own collagen) is simply unknown - NO PHYSICIAN CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION DEFINITIVELY AS OF TODAY, SO IF ONE MAKES THE CHOICE TO DO IT, ONE HAS TO OWN THE ENTIRE DECISION BY ACCEPTING THE UNKNOWN RISKS - THERE'S NO BLAMING ANYONE ELSE. I personally can’t make peace with that risk.
2. Unclear How to Correct an Adverse Reaction:
The incidence of adverse reaction appears to be low but a consumer/patient has to know it IS POTENTIAL. Accepting the knowledge of that potential risk (no matter how slight), leads to the next logical question: what does one do if they experience an adverse reaction immediately/in the future? It is not clear what the options are (i.e., protocols to follow to correct) if one finds themselves one of the few unlucky people who do suffer an adverse reaction to Artefill. This is again, is something I find hard to make peace with.
I hope Artefill only gets better with more use/study. I’m going to sit this this one out for now and wait for more research to be compiled. But if/when I choose to have Artefill, I would request the services of the physician I consulted with. I thank all of you who have respectfully shared your own experiences with honesty and integrity. Thank you!
Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Licensed, board certified, in practice 16 years, excellent consultation

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