What is the basic composition of Vitrase and what does it do?
Vitrase, a proprietary formula of highly purified ovine hyaluronidase, is a protein enzyme commonly used to reverse the effects of hyaluronic acid cosmetic filler injections. It also has other medical applications due to its ability to break down or dissolve hyaluronic acid which is found in connective tissue throughout the human body as well as in parts of the eye and in synovial joint fluid.
What areas of the body does Vitrase treat?
In its cosmetic application, Vitrase can be used to counteract the undesirable effects of cosmetic filler procedures like Juvederm or Prevelle Silk where treated areas of the face have developed unwanted lumps or swelling. Any area that has received hyaluronic acid injections can be subsequently treated with Vitrase.
Who would be a candidate for treatment with Vitrase?
A patient who has received cosmetic hyaluronic acid filler injections to minimize facial wrinkling or sagging, or to augment other areas of the face, may be a good candidate for Vitrase if they are unhappy with their results. Vitrase injections can reduce the fullness of cosmetic fillers or counteract them completely. Someone whose procedure has produced uneven or lumpy filling would also be a good candidate for Vitrase as localized injections can also diminish specific uneven areas.
How is Vitrase administered?
Vitrase is a dermal injectable that is delivered subcutaneously to a specific facial area requiring reduction. This is considered a minor procedure and will be conducted in a physician’s office. The area to be treated is cleaned and disinfected and then injections with a tiny needle are made in the specific areas that are to be treated for overfilling. A local anesthetic in cream or injection form can be offered to minimize discomfort.
How long is the recovery period?
Recovery time is negligible as the procedure is minimally invasive. Injection sites may be slightly tender or inflamed, but any sensitivity should clear quickly. Treatment with Vitrase is even less invasive than cosmetic fillers so the recovery time should be even less eventful.
When will the results be visible?
The results of Vitrase injections are almost immediately visible. Because Vitrase is a protein enzyme, the enzymatic process it initiates can continue and produce some further reduction for a few hours. Hyaluronic acid fillers will dissipate on their own in about three months. Vitrase, however, speeds up that process dramatically, offering the same dissipation in a matter of minutes.
Are there risks involved with this procedure?
Risks associated with the Vitrase procedure are minimal as well. Potential drug interactions may pose a problem as there are some prescription drugs that can interact negatively with Vitrase. As with any procedure or medication, it is important to inform your doctor of any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or natural supplements you may be taking before using Vitrase. It is also important to let your doctor know if your are pregnant or nursing, or planning on becoming pregnant. It has not yet been determined what effect Vitrase may have on an unborn child or whether it passes to breast milk. To make sure there is no sensitivity, sometimes a skin test will be done before treatment with Vitrase is begun.
Has Vitrase been approved for distribution in the U.S. and will insurance companies cover its cost?
Vitrase has been widely administered for various procedures in the U.S. for many years. However, most insurance companies may be reluctant to cover costs of a Vitrase procedure due to its cosmetic nature.
Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.
By Anti-Aging.org Staff
Updated: November 16, 2009