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Hyaluronidase to Dissolve Unwanted Lip and Wrinkle Filler



If you are old enough to have filler injections you are probably old enough to remember the scene from the movie “The First Wives Club” where Goldie Hawn gets lip injections and ends up with wickedly gigantic lips.

No one can argue that injectable fillers have added immensely to minimally invasive cosmetic facial surgery, but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing!

The complications associated with injectable lip and wrinkle fillers are usually pretty benign with under treatment and over treatment being among the most common problems.  Frequently, overtreatment is associated with novice injectors or poor technique, but even the most experienced surgeons will occasionally have an overzealous result.  There is no doubt that a patient may be disappointed with an under treated area, but they will be livid with an asymmetric or over treated area.  Let’s face it, no patient wants to walk around with excess filler in the lip, smile line or under eye area.

There are numerous fillers available and each of them has various positive and negative aspects.  The most commonly injected fillers are the hyaluronic acid fillers which include Juvederm Ultra and Ultra Plus, Restylane, and Perlane being the most popular.  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar that is present in many human tissues, especially the skin.  These fillers have been shown to persist in the body for up to a year, which is a good thing if you have the correct amount in the right place.  One additional (and I feel a huge advantage) with the hyaluronic acid fillers is the fact that they can be dissolved or reversed with a very predictable, safe and simple treatment that happens almost overnight.

Sound too good to be true?  It’ a fact.  Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that will dissolve hyaluronic acid rapidly and safely.  This medication is marketed as Amphidase and is mixed with local anesthesia and injected into the area of excess filler.  Almost like magic and almost overnight, the excess filler will dissolve, leaving a happy patient and surgeon.  Hyaluronidase has been used by doctors for injections for years, most commonly to assist the spread of local anesthetic solutions.  It has an excellent safety record although it is good to perform an immediate skin test and wait 5-10 minutes before treatment.  A small bleb of the inner surface of the forearm can be injected to see if it causes any inflammation in the area.

Hyaluronidase is used to dissolve excess or unwanted filler by mixing it with local anesthesia and injecting into the area of excess filler.

I have personally injected one of my patients and a bunch of patients treated by other surgeons with Hyaluronidase with good results.  The excess filler (assuming it is a hyaluronic acid type) dissolves in one or two days and is impressive.  Occasionally it is necessary to re treat an area with additional Hyaluronidase if the first injection did not take care of the problem.  I have used it to dissolve bumps on the lip, lips that were too big and fat or tear trough areas (the groove under the eye and above the cheek) that were over treated with good results.


The above patient was over injected with a filler and was unhappy with the excessive result.  She is shown 48 hours after Dr. Niamtu injected hyaluronidase into the area of excess under the eye.

To find out more about injectable lip and wrinkle fillers or other cosmetic facial surgery procedures visit


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia

Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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