Facial Plast Surg 2009; 25(2): 067-072
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1220645
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The History of Injectable Facial Fillers

Theda C. Kontis1 , Alexander Rivkin2
  • 1Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
04 May 2009 (online)


In an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance or to reconstruct facial deformities, physicians have greeted new technologies with excitement. In the late 1800s, shortly after the invention of the syringe, chemical agents were used for facial augmentation. Unfortunately, history has taught us that new technologies must be used with care, because complications can occur, sometimes many years after initial treatment. The first injectable filling agent was paraffin, whose use was abandoned after complications of migration, embolization, and granuloma formation were described. More recently, silicone use was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of similar complications. In 1981, bovine collagen was the first agent to be approved by the FDA for cosmetic injection. Since its approval, dozens of injectable filling agents have been developed, and many are already FDA approved for cosmetic use. This article will review the highlights of the evolution of facial filling agents.


Theda C Kontis, M.D. , F.A.C.S. 

Facial Plastic Surgicenter, 1838 Greene Tree Road

Suite 370, Baltimore, MD 21208

Email: [email protected]