Techniques for the optimization of facial and nonfacial volumization with injectable poly-l-lactic acid

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2012 Oct;36(5):1222-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-012-9920-3. Epub 2012 Aug 28.


With the recognition of the key role of volume loss in the facial aging process, injectable dermal fillers and volumizers have become increasingly important treatment options for recontouring and rejuvenating the aging face. While replacement fillers effectively correct individual lines and wrinkles, volumizing agents that replace collagen provide a longer-lasting, volume-based alternative. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) has been shown to increase dermal thickness and volume for up to 2 years and beyond. Although early clinical use of this agent in patients with HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy was associated with a significant rate of nodule or papule formation, subsequent experience has helped define the proper reconstitution volumes and injection techniques for optimizing results and minimizing nodule/papule formation. While injectable PLLA has been used successfully for rejuvenation of most facial areas, increasing experience suggests that it is a versatile agent capable of providing aesthetic enhancement in multiple areas of the body, including the dorsum of the hands, the décolleté, the neck, the buttocks, the medial ankles, and acne scars. Although the current published experience in these areas is limited, further studies and clinical use of injectable PLLA will clarify the potential of this agent as a minimally invasive alternative and/or adjunct to surgery for restoring volume loss in multiple anatomic areas.

Level of evidence v: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetic Techniques*
  • Face
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Lactic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers / administration & dosage*


  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Lactic Acid
  • poly(lactide)