Bioalcamid is a cosmetic filler which is popularly used as a face-plumping treatment.
Comprised of 96% water and 4% gel (polyalkylimide), it resembles the fatty tissue which occurs naturally in the human body. It can be used to define cheekbones, fill in the nose (especially following rhinoplasty), enhance the chin and fill in facial lines that have occurred due to aging or smoking. The gel is typically injected into recesses in the face in order to give a ‘fuller’ appearance.
Most patients are satisfied with the initial results of this procedure, however, problems have been shown to arise at a later date, leading to a growing distrust of the product. More and more patients who have had Bioalcamid injections experience complications like inflammation of the face or hardening of the capsule. There is also a chance of the filler capsules migrating, for instance moving from the nose to the forehead.
Such complications often arise after dental procedures which are conducted close to the location of the fillers. Another factor that makes complications more likely is when patients get additional ‘touch-up’ fillers using a different gel product, which can react badly with the Bioalcamid that they have already had injected. Because Bio-alcamid becomes increasingly difficult to remove the longer the implants have been in place, people who have had the treatment are advised to minimise the risk of infection near the area that can spread to implants.
Polymekon, the Italian manufacturers of Bioalcamid, have marketed the product on the basis that it cannot be rejected by the body. However, this is precisely what leads to its danger: it means it is much more difficult to remove from the body, and it can also form a site to harbour bacteria.
If complications do arise, doctors are reluctant to remove the substance, as the procedure can be challenging, painful for the patient, and it may risk of incurring further complications. The invasive removal treatment requires making a number of incisions in the skin. As a result, many patients have been left with disfigurement or facial scarring.
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