ArteFill Injections – Benefits, Cost & Side Effects

ArteFill is an improved version of Artecoll, which has been used in Europe and Canada on more than 400,000 patients during the past 10 years. ArteFill was FDA approved in October 2006 for the treatment of nasolabial folds (smile lines) and has also been used off-label for lip augmentation, acne scars, and other wrinkles. It is the only "permanent" dermal filler approved in the U.S.

ArteFill is a gel filler consisting of millions of synthetic microspheres (polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA) suspended in purified bovine (cow) collagen. ArteFill also contains the local anesthetic lidocaine to reduce discomfort during injection.

How ArteFill Works

ArteFill is injected directly beneath the wrinkle to add a permanent support structure and smoothen the area. The synthetic PMMA microspheres in ArteFill are "non-resorbable," which means they are not absorbed into the body or metabolized, allowing ArteFill to last significantly longer than other injectable fillers. The microspheres stimulate the body to generate its own natural collagen to encapsulate each individual microsphere, resulting in 80% of the patient's collagen and 20% microspheres (by volume) to permanently fill in the wrinkle.

As the injected bovine collagen is slowly absorbed during a few weeks, the newly generated collagen replaces it. This slow breakdown and natural replenishment process provides ArteFill with its unique and enduring results.

Best Candidates for ArteFill

Men and women of any age may receive ArteFill treatment. Ideal candidates have already tried temporary injections, are injection- and credit card-fatigued, and are sure they want a permanent result. ArteFill is not given to people with allergies to bovine collagen or with chronic skin infections. And it is not recommended for areas of thinner skin (such as crow's feet around the eyes).

ArteFill Treatment

Thirty days before treatment, your doctor will administer a simple allergy skin test for sensitivity to bovine collagen. ArteFill treatment usually requires only 15-20 minutes, but two treatment sessions may be necessary to achieve full wrinkle correction. The treatments are typically performed three to six weeks apart. Before receiving ArteFill, you may first try a temporary filler to confirm your desired result.

Be sure to seek advice and treatment only from board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists with sufficient experience in the ArteFill injection technique, as well as other injectable fillers.

Side Effects with ArteFill

Side effects from ArteFill are rare but may include redness, swelling, lumpiness, pain, or sensitivity at the injection site. Some patients may feel a slight firmness after injection, which usually resolves over time.

Cost of ArteFill

ArteFill treatment now costs $1,000 per syringe. You may want to ask your doctor about payment plan options. For financing options and tips, please read our article on patient financing patient financing. For pricing information related to other treatments, read an overview of plastic surgery costs.