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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2018 Jun;42(3):791-797. doi: 10.1007/s00266-018-1114-1. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Removal of Polyacrylamide Gel (Aquamid®) from the Lip as a Solution for Late-Onset Complications: Our 8-Year Experience.

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Center for Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Ocean Clinic Marbella, Marbella, Spain.
Department for Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Center for Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Ocean Clinic Marbella, Marbella, Spain.



The polyacrylamide hydrogel Aquamid® has been used as a permanent filler to enhance facial soft tissue volume and correct wrinkles since 2001. Various long-term studies have proved the safety of the product. Nonetheless, if complications such as migration occur, they can be difficult to treat.


Eleven patients suffering from late-onset complications after taking Aquamid® injections in the lips underwent product removal and subsequent labial reconstruction between 2009 and 2017. The reconstruction was performed using a modified bikini reduction technique combined, in eight cases, with immediate autologous fat grafting.


In all the patients, general fibrosis and a diffused distribution of the product within all three layers of the lips resulted in the need for labial reconstruction. Migration, as far as in the mucosa and perioral skin, accounted for macroscopically visible yellowish accumulations. In ten out of eleven cases, an individually modified bikini reduction technique, with or without any combination of autologous fat grafting, led to an esthetically satisfying result. One patient developed a severe upper lip necrosis.


Contradictory to several previous studies attesting to the lack of migration after Aquamid® application to the lips, capsule formation around the product is impaired, allowing for migration even years after the injection. Product aspiration is not possible in these cases, thus necessitating complex lip reconstruction. Bikini reduction and fat grafting are valuable tools for labial reconstruction. Product residuals within the mucosa have to be accepted. Special care has to be taken while treating smokers.


This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .


Aquamid; Bikini reduction; Lip reconstruction; Permanent filler; Polyacrylamide; Product migration

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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