1. What is Restylane®?
Restylane® is a clear injectable gel composed of Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid (NASHA). It is produced by bacteria in a lab, stabilized, purified and suspended in a buffer.
2. How is Restylane® different from collagen?
Collagen is composed of animal protein or human derived protien while Restylane® is made of sugar chains (polysaccharides). After injection, swelling occurs in the area treated. Most of the swelling from collagen injections is almost immediate and goes down in just a couple of hours. Following Restylane® injections, swelling can last for up to 24 hours.
3. Does Restylane® last longer than collagen?
For most patients, collagen injections last 3-4 months. According to studies performed by Medicis aesthetics, the company that produces Restylane®, it can last up to 6 months. My experience is that is lasts 5-6 months for most patients.
4. Does any of the Restylane® material persist once it is absorbed?
No. Once it is absorbed and degraded, there is no residual trace of injected material.
5. How does Restylane® work?
Once injected into the mid to deep dermis (lower level of the skin), the gel adds volume to fill out skin folds and wrinkles, making them less noticeable. Since Restylane® is a sugar, it absorbs water from surrounding tissues to enhance and maintain volume.
6. Is Restylane® safe?
Yes. Restylane® is fully biocompatible. Unlike bovine collagen, allergic reactions are so rare that it is felt that there is no need for allergy testing.
7. Is Restylane® approved by the FDA?
On December 15, 2003, the FDA approved Restylane® for cosmetic injections to correct moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles.
8. Does Restylane® contain any local anesthetic like collagen?
No. Restylane® contains no local anesthetic and is injected using a slightly larger needle that collagen. This makes Restylane® injections a little more painful than collagen injections. Sometimes a local anesthetic is injected into the area to be treated prior to Restylane® injections to reduce pain with the injections and bruising.
9. Should anything be done prior to Restylane® injections to reduce the risk of problems?
Since bruising is a risk with any type of injection, avoiding aspirin containing products and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks prior to injections can reduce the risk bruising. Ice packs applied to the area after injection may also reduce the risk of bruising.
10. Collagen is available in several different syringe volumes, how about Restylane®?
At this time, Restylane® is only available in 1.0cc syringes.
11. How do Restylane® injection volumes compare with collagen injection volumes?
That is a difficult question to answer at this time. However, according to Medicis aesthetics, 1.0cc of Restylane® is equivalent to about 1.5cc’s of collagen.