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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 22

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg

Use of hyaluronidase in plastic surgery: A review.


Sharma D S C, Lahiri M A
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2021 Apr 22.
PMID: 34024740.


Hyaluronidase is a family of enzymes that degrade hyaluronic acid (HA). It is found to increase vascular permeability and temporarily disrupt the extracellular matrix, promoting diffusion of substances through tissues. Alongside its applications in ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, musculoskeletal medicine, radiology and drug and fluid administration, hyaluronidase has a number of roles in the field of plastic surgery. The popularity of HA fillers in recent years has led to an increase in the usage of hyaluronidase in the treatment of filler-related complications. The purpose of this article is to review the current and future uses of hyaluronidase within the field of plastic surgery. Hyaluronidase is used as an adjunct to local anaesthetics in skin infiltration, skin graft harvesting, tumescent analgesia, managing complications of dermal fillers, treatment of extravasation injury, prevention and management of oedema, treatment of ganglion and management of scars. However, it has some limitations. Hyaluronidase is known to interact with a number of common medications. Several case reports also highlight the risk of allergic reaction to the substance. Although rare and usually mild, hyaluronidase has the potential to cause anaphylaxis. Other adverse effects include bruising and swelling. Overall, hyaluronidase appears to be a very safe, cheap and effective medication for a variety of uses in the field of plastic surgery and beyond.