A new Juvederm formula called “Ultra XC” contains 0.3 percent lidocaine for increased comfort during the injection procedure. But is the introduction of lidocaine a significant move forward for pain management? Because traditional pain-control methods are already effective, some people in the industry suggest it may be nothing more than a clever marketing strategy.
Allergan said in a press release (and on Juvederm.com) that results of a clinical trial demonstrated significant improvements in comfort with the new filler: over 90 percent of the subjects (34 people) in the trial said they experienced less pain with Juvederm XC. However, the clinical data published on the website (see graph) fails to mention whether participants treated with non-lidocaine Juvederm were given topical anesthetics or dental blocks prior to injection.
When Prevelle Silk (also containing lidocaine) was introduced in 2008, plastic surgeons welcomed the potential for a more comfortable treatment but also voiced skepticism: “The issue with a hyaluronic acid filler with lidocaine is that it doesn’t work until you actually start injecting patients, and these injections are so quick, by the time the lidocaine takes effect, you’re almost finished” said Dr. Joe Niamtu to Cosmetic Surgery Times.
While any improvement in pain management is a plus, don’t expect surgeons to abandon traditional methods just yet. You can read more about injectable treatments on our homepage.