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Can J Plast Surg. 2011 Fall;19(3):e22-7.

Optimizing injectable poly-L-lactic acid administration for soft tissue augmentation: The rationale for three treatment sessions.

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  • 1Clinica Diaz, Padova, Italy;



The availability and variety of different injectable modalities has led to a dramatic increase in soft tissue augmentation procedures in recent years. Injectable poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is a synthetic, biodegradable polymer device approved in the United States for use in immunocompetent patients as a single regimen of up to four treatment sessions for correction of shallow to deep nasolabial fold contour deficiencies and other facial wrinkles. Injectable PLLA is also approved for restoration and/or correction of signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in individuals with HIV.


The present article provides an overview of previous studies with injectable PLLA, and specifically focuses on the number of recommended treatment sessions and intervals between treatment sessions. The authors also provide two case studies to support their recommendations for an average of three treatment sessions.


Although the specific mechanisms remain hypothetical, injections of PLLA are believed to cause a cascade of cellular events that lead to collagen repair and subsequent restoration of facial volume. Because the development of a response to injectable PLLA is gradual and its duration of effect is long lasting, sufficient time between treatment sessions should be allocated to avoid overcorrection.


Studies of injectable PLLA support the hypothesized mode of operation, and the experience and clinical recommendations of the authors that suggest that three treatment sessions are an optimal regimen for use of injectable PLLA in the majority of patients.


Collagen; Cosmetic; Dermal fillers; Injectable PLLA; Injectable devices

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