Can Cosmetic Injections Cause Blindness?

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We’ve stressed time and time again the importance of only going to an experienced board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in the particular field they practice when going in for cosmetic procedures. Aside from getting a poor result, there are also other serious complications that can occur if you don’t see the right doctor. One in particular is blindness.

Blindness is a rare complication that can occur after fillers and/or injections. “I wouldn’t say it’s that common,” says Scottsdale, AZ, David Hecht, MD. “Typically we tell patients about bruising, lumpiness and that the fillers may not last as long as they expected.” 

That said, reports in scientific literature have shown that nearly every type of cosmetic injection, whether it’s hyaluronic acid, collagen, fat or other material, has been found in rare instances to cause decreased vision after being injected. This particular complication ranges from being temporary to permanent.

“What we believe happens is that if the material is injected into specific blood vessels like the central retinal artery or ophthalmic artery, the vessels can become included, or blocked,” says Laguna Woods, CA, facial plastic surgeon Corey Yeh, MD. “That’s what causes the problem and what leads to decreased vision or blindness.”

This just emphasizes why it’s absolutely critical when getting fillers to go to someone who has a very good understanding of the anatomy of the face. This and other types of complications are more common when those who don’t have the necessary amount of training and experience to perform them.

“The skill of the injector and familiarity of the anatomy are going to reduce these complications,” says Dr. Yeh. “This is a medical procedure and the patient should understand this and set themselves up for success by going to someone who has experience.”

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WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Jasmine Mohadjer
Oculoplastic Surgeon - Largo, FL
As an oculoplastic surgeon, I completely agree with this article. Any time a procedure is performed, there is risk. Most importantly, I absolutely urge everyone considering any type of procedure to go to someone who is SPECIALIZED in that field. As oculoplastic surgeons, my colleagues and I are very specifically trained in the anatomy and areas around the delicate ocular area. This is a very complex anatomical space that is highly vascular. The proper techniques and knowledge are very important in minimizing risks. As Dr. Yeh states, this is a MEDICAL procedure and like any other medical procedure go to someone who is highly trained, and highly experienced for the best possible results.
Posted December 10, 2012 5:06 PM EST
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