Background: Facial lipoatrophy is most distressing for HIV patients in pharmacologic treatment. Nonabsorbable fillers are widely used to restore facial features in these patients. We evaluated the safety and aesthetic outcomes of two samples of HIV+ patients affected by facial wasting who received different filling protocols of the nonabsorbable filler Aquamid® to restore facial wasting.
Methods: Thirty-one HIV+ patients affected by facial wasting received injections of the nonabsorbable filler Aquamid for facial wasting rehabilitation. Patients were randomly divided into two groups: A and B. In group A, the facial defect was corrected by injecting up to 8 ml of product in the first session; patients were retreated after every 8th week with touch-up procedures until full correction was observed. In group B, facial defects were corrected by injecting 2 ml of product per session; patients were retreated after every 8th week until full correction was observed.
Results: Patients of group A noted a great improvement after the first filling procedure. Patients in group B noted improvement of their face after four filling procedures on average. Local infection, foreign-body reaction, and migration of the product were not observed in either group during follow-up.
Conclusion: The rehabilitation obtained with a megafilling session and further touch-up procedures and that with a gradual build-up of the localized soft-tissue loss seem not to have differences in terms of safety for the patients. However, with a megafilling session satisfaction is achieved earlier and it is possible to reduce hospital costs in terms of gauze, gloves, and other items.