Safety of Combining Fillers and Lasers in One Session Evaluated Over 6 Years

Doug Brunk

April 29, 2022

SAN DIEGO – Among nearly 1,200 single-session facial treatments over 6 years that paired injectable hyaluronic acid filler with lasers, none of the documented adverse events that occurred were directly related to spread of filler or laser treatment of the filled area, results from a single-center, retrospective study showed.

"Data on the safety of pairing single-session treatment with nonablative fractional 1,927-nm thulium and/or 1,550-nm erbium laser and fillers are lacking," Shirin Bajaj, MD, said during a clinical abstract session at the annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. "Anecdotally, we have found this to be completely safe in our high-volume laser center. We typically do fillers first, followed by laser treatment."

For the study, Bajaj, a dermatology fellow at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the charts of 638 patients who had 1,186 single‐session facial treatments with nonablative fractional 1,927-nm thulium and/or 1,550-nm erbium laser (Fraxel DUAL by Solta) and injectable hyaluronic acid filler from August 2015 to June 2021. Safety over the 6-year period was assessed by the adverse events that occurred within the first 4 weeks. The mean age of patients at the time of treatment was 60 years and 95% were female. Fitzpatrick skin types were type 1 (46.1%), type II (48.1%), type III (5.5%), and type IV (0.3%).

Most patients had 1 single‐session treatment (64.3%); the rest had 2 sessions (17.7%), 3 sessions (8%), or 4-18 sessions (10%). Most (91.2%) were treated with the 1,927-nm thulium laser, while 1.8% were treated with the 1,550-nm erbium laser; the mean total energy delivered was 1.3 kilojoules. A small number of patients (7.0%) received treatment with both lasers.

The most common area treated with filler injections were the cheeks and/or tear troughs (85.6%), followed by the perioral area and/or marionette lines (83.7%), temples (31%), nasolabial folds (25.5%), lips (24%), jawline (23.8%), chin (6.5%), forehead (1.4%), glabella and brows (0.5% each), neck (0.3%), and nose (0.1%). One syringe of filler was used in 58.7% of cases, compared with two syringes in 28.7% of cases, three syringes in 9.9% of cases, and four to six syringes in 2.8% of cases.

Bajaj reported that of the 1,186 single‐session treatments, no adverse events were recorded that were directly related to spread of filler or laser treatment of the filled area, including product migration, unexpected loss of filler volume, vascular occlusion, acute pain, cutaneous necrosis, blindness, and cutaneous burn. There were no hospital or emergency department transfers or admissions and referrals to ENT specialists or ophthalmologists for additional work‐up.

"This is at a busy cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery practice," Bajaj said. "Additional studies may be needed to further validate our findings."

The study's lead author was Jordan V. Wang, MD, who is medical research director at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.

"At most, this retrospective data confirms what we have known for years to be true: that combination treatments with injectables including fillers are safe," Catherine M. DiGiorgio, MD, a dermatologist who practices at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, told this news organization. "This is a small study out of a single office, so that is a limitation. However, many dermatologists have performed Fraxel plus filler treatments in the same session daily for the last 10 years without any issues."

DiGiorgio was asked to comment on the results and was not an investigator.

Bajaj reported having no financial disclosures. Wang reported that he has received grants and/or research funding from ALASTIN Skincare, Cynosure, Lutronic, Novoxel, Sofwave, Solta Medical, Blossom Innovations, Allergan, Accure Acne Inc., and Soliton. DiGiorgio reported having no relevant disclosures.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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