When it comes to cosmetic treatments like Radiesse, measuring effectiveness usually boils down to two simple questions: How good does it look, and how long does it last?
To answer the first question, take a look at how dermal fillers work. The fillers are injected into the skin, giving it a fuller appearance, much in the same way the surface of a balloon becomes smooth as it fills with air. Surgeons sometimes overfill an area to make treatment last longer -- especially when using natural fillers like human, cow or pig collagen -- because they know the body will quickly absorb the filler [source: Mayo Clinic].
When using Radiesse, however, surgeons don't need to overfill an area, so you're not going to have to live with extra-puffy cheeks for a month until you get down to the optimal amount of filler [source: FDA]. On the other hand, Radiesse isn't as effective for lips or areas around the eyes, so if you want a lusciously full smile or you're desperate to get rid of crow's feet, you might want to explore other options [source: FDA].
The effects of Radiesse can last from one to three years, depending on the severity of the lines and areas of the face that are treated [source: Mayo Clinic]. That's a good track record -- compared to the lifespan of other skin fillers, three years is a long time [source: ASAPS].
To find out how much these long-lasting good looks will cost you, read on.