Is it Worth it to Have a PMMA Injection?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have an elective procedure is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having injections of the dermal filler called PMMA.
There are several dermal fillers available for injection to reduce the appearance of small defects, such as wrinkles, in the skin. This page discusses polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA). This chemical is made in microspheres, which are then suspended in a collagen gel; it’s sold under the brand name Artefill. The collagen gel will gradually be absorbed into the body, but the PMMA microspheres will form a scaffold for the body to generate its own collagen, which will fill the space as the injected collagen is absorbed. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Dermal Fillers: the Procedure and Recovery. For more about the many resources Doctor Review has to offer, you can check out our Cosmetic Dermatology Overview page.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the provider who will perform your procedure if you decide to proceed.
There are some risks that can result from the injection of any dermal filler. One risk is the possibility of infection at the site of injection. Cleaning the site before injection and using good sterile technique minimizes this risk, but it’s never zero. Infection could result in a poor aesthetic result and will require antibiotics to treat. Additionally, there is often bruising and swelling near the injection site; this usually resolves within a few days. In some cases, there may be a lump at the injection site, or the filler may be visible under the surface of the skin.
The wrinkle may not be completely filled by the filler, so it’s still present; conversely, it may be overfilled, so that it now sticks up from the skin instead of down. As the body gradually absorbs the filler, this usually resolves. In rare cases, there could be damage to the skin during injection that results in permanent scarring. There is also the risk that the filler will move away from the site where it was injected; this risk is reduced by avoiding rubbing or massaging of the treated area, which may push the filler around inside the face.
Because PMMA is a semipermanent dermal filler, it’s important for the provider to be extremely precise with the injection, as it won’t easily absorb into the tissues and if not properly administered may cause an abnormal appearance or be visible under the skin. It requires the provider to have extra training in techniques for injecting the PMMA without causing it to be visible under the skin; there are certain methods (such as threading and tunneling) that can be used at the injection site to promote optimal results. Additionally, to avoid overfilling with a semipermanent filler, the provider will usually underfill at the first injection, and add a little more later if desired; this means that more than one injection of PMMA will likely be needed.
PMMA is a semipermanent dermal filler. This means that results will likely last for many years. PMMA is often chosen by those who have been injected collagen or hyaluronic acid for a period of time, and no longer wish to need repeated injections. It can be used in medium to deep wrinkles (such as those that often form between the nose and mouth), or in pitted scars.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost to have PMMA injected once is $969. This cost varies according to several factors, including how many sites need to be injected, the region, and the particular clinic. You should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine the exact cost. Keep in mind that financing is often available. For more detail, visit our Dermal Fillers – PMMA Cost page.