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Sunday
Nov042012

Using Artefill

Are you using Artefill? How do you like it?

There have been a few chapters in the story of this filler, and I know that many doctors are not using it due to fears of permanent fillers and fears of longterm complications. Also, it went off the market for a while as Artes Medical went bankrupt, but came back from a new company called Suneva.

I am a fan of the product and have used it quite a bit in my practice for the last 6 years. I have seen no concerning longterm issues. No granulomas, no migration, no product lumps. In Europe it sounds like doctors encountered quite a few serious problems with the Artecoll and Arteplast iterations of the product, including granulomas and lumps. It was so much so that a fairly strident call went out to never use permanent fillers. This boycott was enthusiastically supported here in the states by many plastic surgeons and dermatologists (most notably Arnie Klein). Even now, it seems that doctors who use Artefill are considered somewhat fringe by the core group of physicians.

I think that this is a shame. I have used the product on over 1000 patients without a single adverse event and I find it to be soft, natural appearing and forgiving. My main issue is that when the collagen component gets absorbed it is often not fully replaced by the patient's tissue. The result is that I frequently have to do several sessions in order to get good results and this can get costly. I inject in the deep as well as the superficial planes, but i try to have most of the product stay superficial. Because the product is so soft, I have found that if I inject it deep I do not see great results.

What is your experience?

Reader Comments (13)

I hadn't really been following this but I am aware of Dr. Rivkins work with fillers. I found this Wall Street Journal article which I found interesting.. along with this quote: "The role of physicians who become activists, like Dr. Klein, is complicated in a world where doctors often are paid by companies to perform scientific research and teach others how to use their products. In this case, Dr. Klein has past and current ties to ArteFill competitors. From 2000 until last April, Dr. Klein worked for Allergan Inc., AGN -0.36% which sells Botox and Juvederm, and since 2004 he has been a consultant to Restylane maker Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Dr Klein, who made $250,000 a year from Allergan for several years, says such ties "have nothing to do whatsoever" with his concerns about ArteFill. "I refuse to see the field of soft-tissue augmentation destroyed," he says of his motivation."
Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118834446251311594.html

11.5 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

I'm very interested in hearing more about this. I am unaware of any other physician who has injected 1k+ patients with Artefill and the comment that you've never experienced a single complication is telling. I'm curious about your injection technique and what percentage of the product is actually 'permanent'?

The fact that not all of the product is actually 'permanent' seems to be something of a benefit. I would be more hesitant to inject something with no safety margin at all.

Hmmm... I looked at Artefill on realself and it only gets a 64% positive rating from patients. I'm guessing that there may be a number of injectors who need some training and I would thing that the negative press that Artefilll got a while back probably skewed the results. Still, iit's not a ringing endorsement from the patient side.

Dr. Cello, you need to watch out on realself.com as it is not uncommon for a rep from another company to get on and cut down a competitors product. I can't remember which company but one company was sued for having staff post positive comments about their product. They had to pay significant fines for this act. real self.com has no protection against this activity.

I do watch real self.com at times to try and get a feel for a new product or procedure but never only use it as a single source. I will look at the docs using it and call them if I am truly interested in the product or procedure.

11.5 | Unregistered CommenterLH

@LH, Excellent point and well taken. Thank you.

Personally, I've used this product for the past several years and love it. Patient satisfaction is very high. I too have never run into any issues. Although, I had my training from the best in the industry...Dr. Koffard in Dana Point CA.

Artefill video that features one of the Medspa MD authors (Dr. Edward Zimmerman) that touts the money-making capability of adding Artefill to your practice: http://doctor.artefill.com/video.html

Well taken point on realself.

11.8 | Unregistered CommenterBotox DC

What is the difference between Artefill and Artecol/Arteplast. My understanding is that the initial product caused granulomas because the PMMA "beads" were irregular shapes and sizes. The second generation product hoped to resolve that by making the beads uniform and smooth. Is Artefill a third generation product or just a new name?

yes, dermgal's comments are very much to the point in this debate. so much of the "standard practices" in this industry are set by "thought leaders" whose opinions are short on data and long on conflicts of interest.
in terms of complications, they sem to have really solved the granuloma issue by making the size and shape of the beads smooth and regular. it is such a forgiving product - the collagen dissolving is a big safety margin. its tough to overdo it when you have to inject in three sessions.
there are people out there injecting massive amounts of Artefill (20 to 30 syringes or more). whereas that will certainly make them lots of money and gets the company very excited, i tend to err on the side of caution and inject 2 syringes or so at a time. i am slowly increasing my usage, however, as it looks like my patients are doing fine.

Can this be used on the cheeks/ tear troughs? What are the common off label uses of Artefill?

I have been using Artefill all over the face. It works great. I use a 25 or 27 gauge blunt tip cannula and get outstanding results.

05.14 | Unregistered Commenterrgreco

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