associated with HIV
Facial Lipoatrophy is the loss of fat in the face causing indentations, sunken cheeks and hollows. It can be a natural sign of aging, but it can also be a stigmatizing complication associated with HIV and have a profound effect on a patient’s self-confidence and quality of life. In 2006, the FDA approved RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler for the treatment of Facial Lipoatrophy associated with HIV. It is a natural gel suspension of calcium-based microspheres that stimulate the production of collagen. With the injection of RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler, a patient sees instant volumization and improvement of their appearance. These results will vary but can last a year or longer. However, after an initial treatment, most patients will return every three to six months for a touch up procedure.
Of particular note is the fact that MERZ AESTHETICS™, the maker of RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler, has a Patient Assistance Program for patients with Facial Lipoatrophy associated with HIV. Currently, this program is available for anyone who earns less than $80,000 annually, is being treated for HIV and who does not have insurance that will cover a restorative procedure. A simple form can be filled out and submitted with proof of income for this program from our office. Once accepted into the program, a patient will be able to purchase up to six 1.5cc syringes of RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler per calendar year. The syringes do not have to be ordered all at once but can be ordered several at a time during the course of the calendar year up to the six allotted. Usually, a patient will use 2 to 4 syringes on an initial treatment to restore and correct volume loss in the face. The remaining syringes can be used over the course of the year to maintain the correction.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
The syringe cost varies depending on a patient’s income. The lowest cost we have seen is $80 per syringe and the highest cost has been $180 per syringe. The syringes are stored specifically for the patient, and the patient is requested to cover the cost of the syringes when they arrive at the office. There is a $25 injection fee per syringe charged at the time of a treatment.
The treatment process is similar to that of other dermal fillers. A numbing cream is applied for 30 minutes to the area of the face to be treated after which it is washed off. The face is then cleansed with an alcohol pad. Each 1.5cc syringe of RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler is mixed with 0.25cc 1% lidocaine to lessen any injection discomfort. There may still be some temporary discomfort during the injection process that is described as a tooth ache. Bruising and swelling may occur, and there may be some tenderness to the injection area for several days. RADIESSE® Volumizing Filler may take up to several weeks to integrate in and feel natural.