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Dermal Fillers Beware!

Posted by Dr. Hugo Ho on 23 October 2018
Dermal Fillers Beware!

Manipulating and reshaping skin and the underlying structures with temporary dermal fillers has become an integral part of many patient's aesthetic treatments. The cosmetic goal of dermal fillers is to temporarily eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate patient's appearance. Effectively, winding back the clock and creating a fresher, younger look. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk. Complications and adverse events can occur, regardless of skill and expertise. Complication rates with injections of fillers have been reported to be up to 5%. This means that 1 in every 20 people have the potential to have an issue. Fortunately, most adverse reactions are mild and transient, such as bruising, swelling and tenderness.

But everyone needs to be aware that there are more serious adverse reactions that can occur. The most severe and feared early-occurring complications are tissue necrosis (tissue death), scarring and blindness.  These are rare but can have devastating lifelong effects! 

Of these 3, I believe blindness to be on the top of the severity scale. Australia has only just seen its first reported case of blindness in April 2018. You may ask yourself, how could this have happened? After all, a dermal filler treatment is known to be a simple cosmetic procedure (or so it may seem!).

Going blind from dermal fillers is due to the blood vessel becoming blocked or compressed from the surrounding swelling. If the tip of the needle penetrates a blood vessel, the dermal filler can enter the bloodstream and obstruct the blood flow. The filler can travel along a blood vessel from anywhere in the face including the lips and as far away as the chin.  Dermal filler, blocking the artery of the eye, will stop the retina from receiving oxygen, and lead to blindness.

In a review of the world literature, in 2015, Dr Katie Beleznay reported 98 cases of blindness.   Injection sites at highest risk were glabella (between the eyes), nasal region, nasolabial fold, and forehead.


In the diagram shown, you can see the various sites that customers have received filler injections or anti-wrinkle injections and have subsequently gone blind. Each dot represents a different person and the area in which the injections were received. As you can see, there are no safe zones on the face when it comes to Anti-wrinkle filler injections. Clients must rely on a clinician's expertise and ability to practice safely to minimise these serious adverse reactions from occurring. But, it's not all doom and gloom, there is a safer alternative!

A safer alternative for treatment in these areas is to use Aptos Threads and the Aptos Thread Lifting method. This can sometimes also be referred to as a non-surgical facelift. Thread lifting is a procedure which involves elevating different parts of the face and body using specially designed threads without having to make incisions as per the classical facelift. The threads are absorbable and insert into the subcutaneous tissue via a blunt cannula, and under local anaesthesia.  The results of having a Thread Lift can generally be seen immediately 

after the procedure. By doing this all under local anaesthetic, the downtime is minimal, and most people can get back to their lives quickly. When having dermal filler injections, depending on the product used, the effects of the anti-wrinkle injections can last from 6 to 12 months. With Aptos Threads and using the Aptos Thread Lifting techniques, the effect can last from 1.5 to 2 years. Importantly, Aptos threads do not carry the same risks as the anti-wrinkle dermal fillers such as blindness or necrosis (dead patches of skin) of parts of the face.

Aptos thread lifting can also lift the eyebrow, restore volume to sagging cheeks, and bring definition back in the jawline. A further benefit over filler injections. If you are interested in learning more about Aptos Threads or the Aptos Thread Lifting Technique, please visit SydneyWest Aesthetics

Author:Dr. Hugo Ho
Tags:Skin tighteningDermal fillerSkin rejuvenationAptosThread liftnon-surgical face liftThread liftingSkin saggingAnti-aging

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