Facial volume restoration of the aging face with poly-l-lactic acid


Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD, 321 North Larchmont Blvd., Suite 906, Los Angeles, CA 90004, or email: fitzmd@earthlink.net.


The purpose of this article is to discuss current techniques used with poly-l-lactic acid to safely and effectively address changes observed in the aging face. Several important points deserve mention. First, this unique agent is not a filler but a stimulator of the host's own collagen, which then acts to volumize tissue in a gradual, progressive, and predictable manner. The technical differences between the use of biostimulatory agents and replacement fillers are simple and straightforward, but are critically important to the safe and successful use of these products and will be reviewed in detail. Second, in addition to gains in technical insights that have improved our understanding of how to use the product to best advantage, where to use the product to best advantage in facial filling has also improved with ever-evolving insights into the changes observed in the aging face. Finally, it is important to recognize that a patient's final outcome, and the amount of product and work it will take to get there, is a reflection of the quality of tissues with which they start. This is, of course, an issue of patient selection and not product selection.