Artecoll, used in cosmetic plastic surgery as permanent soft tissue filler, is injected under the skin to plump up wrinkles and reduce folds of skin associated with aging such as the nasolabial fold which runs from the corner of the nose to the edges of the mouth. Artecoll has been used in Europe for many years. Artecoll is not approved by the FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is not available legally in the United States. A next generation product Artefill was approved by the FDA in December, 2006, to treat nasolabial folds with the added condition that a five-year follow up study of patients using must be done.
Artecoll consists of 25 percent microscopic Plexiglas plastic beads made of a substance known as polymethylmethacrylate suspended in a solution of 75 percent bovine collagen. The microspheres are 32–40 micrometers in diameter (500 micrometers could fit in the period at the end of this sentence).
Potential risks and side effects
Some researchers have found that large lumps under the skin, known as granulomas, developed after Artecoll injections. The lumps are a reaction to the injections and can be difficult for doctors to treat.
- Cohen, S.; Holmes, R. (2004). "Artecoll: a long-lasting injectable wrinkle filler material: Report of a controlled, randomized, multicenter clinical trial of 251 subjects". Plastic and reconstructive surgery 114 (4): 964–976; discussion 976–9. doi:10.1097/01.PRS.0000133169.16467.5F. PMID 15468406.
- Sidwell, R. U.; McL Johnson, N.; Francis, N.; Bunker, C. B. (2006). "Cutaneous sarcoidal granulomas developing after facial cosmetic filler in a patient with newly diagnosed systemic sarcoidosis". Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 31 (2): 208. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2005.01993.x. PMID 16487092.