Polyacrylamide hydrogel injection in the management of human immunodeficiency virus-related facial lipoatrophy: a 2-year clinical experience

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Feb;121(2):644-53. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000298108.46379.15.


Background: Facial lipoatrophy is defined as the reduction in buccal and orbital fat pads along with a more global loss of fat within the subcutaneous tissue. It is the most common and distressing sign of human immunodeficiency virus-associated lipodystrophy. Injectable polyacrylamide hydrogel (Aquamid) is a synthetic nonbiodegradable polymer consisting of a minor backbone of 2.5 percent cross-linked polyacrylamide and 97.5 percent nonpyrogenic water and is used for cosmetic facial contour correction. Favorable results with maximum aesthetic gains with the use of polyacrylamide hydrogel for reconstruction of facial lipoatrophy on the face in significantly immunocompromised individuals are being reported. These results are attributable to its use in limited volume injected at multiple sites and in multiple sittings.

Methods: Aquamid has been used for the correction of severe nasolabial folds and mid and lower facial volume loss in patients affected by human immunodeficiency virus-associated lipodystrophy. Fifty patients were enrolled and treated, with a mean follow-up of 13.1 months. Results were evaluated clinically, by standardized ultrasonography, and by psychological tests (visual analogue scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Assessment of Body Change and Distress questionnaire) to quantify patient satisfaction.

Results: No significant side effects or issues such as swelling, infections, allergies, or nodule formation were noted over the follow-up period.

Conclusion: Aquamid has provided a minimally invasive, effective, long-lasting facial contour correction that significantly improves the quality of life in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gels
  • HIV-1*
  • HIV-Associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome / surgery*
  • HIV-Associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome / virology
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Photography
  • Prosthesis Implantation / ethics
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Time Factors


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Gels
  • polyacrylamide gels