Effects of Common Laser Treatments on Hyaluronic Acid Fillers in a Porcine Model

Jordan P. Farkas, James A. Richardson, Spencer Brown, John E. Hoopman, Jeffrey M. Kenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers (HAFs) and laser/light procedures have become increasingly popular for noninvasive facial rejuvenation in many cosmetic practices. However, the effect of laser/light treatments on HAFs is unknown. Objective: Our objective was to examine the effect of laser/light treatments on HAFs in a porcine model. Methods: The abdomens of 6 Yorkshire pigs were injected with 3 different HAFs: Restylane (Medicis, Scottsdale, AZ), Perlane (Medicis), and Juvéderm (Allergan, Santa Barbara, CA). Two weeks after injection, the injection sites were treated with 1 of 7 common laser/light ablative or nonablative devices. Following laser treatment, 8-mm punch biopsies were collected from the treated tissue and fixed for histopathologic evaluation. Sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and alcian blue stains for identification of the preinjected HAF. Results: The filler was identified in different areas of the dermis in different sections. The Sciton intense pulsed 560 nm filter (Sciton, Palo Alto, CA), the Sciton Nd: YAG, Lux1540 (Palomar Medical Technologies, Burlington, MA), or ActiveFX (Lumenis, Yokneum, Israel) treatments showed no sign of interaction with superficial or deep dermal filler. No evidence of morphologic changes to the filler or the surrounding tissues was observed. Obvious interaction between the HAFs and the laser injury was demonstrated in sections treated with the deep ablative systems fractional erbium 2940 (Profractional; Sciton) and DeepFX CO2, (Lumenis). However, no uncharacteristic tissue injury or morphologic change in the filler was appreciated in any of the preinjected specimens. Conclusions: Injected HAFs were unaffected by the nonablative laser/light and superficial ablative treatments. The more aggressive deeper laser treatments demonstrated laser/filler interaction and may have a clinical effect on the longevity of the filler and/or efficacy of laser treatments. Novel ablative fractional lasers have the capability of deep dermal penetration, and this should be taken into consideration when planning to use them in combination with soft tissue fillers for noninvasive facial rejuvenation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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