In American culture, facial injections and reconstructions are commonplace. The prevalence of these procedures offers the illusion that they are completely safe, or at least have minimal risks. Unfortunately, there are very serious side effects resulting from dermal fillers. Our team of dangerous drug lawyers warns the public of these risks.
Dermal fillers – also called wrinkle fillers, injectable facial implants, or wrinkle fillers - are approved to smooth and plump the lips or cheeks. Patients receive injections directly into the treatment area from dermatologists, dentists, cosmetic or plastic surgeons, and other medical providers with appropriate training. More than one injection may be needed to achieve the desired result.
The FDA recently warned that these fillers can cause severe side effects if accidentally injected into facial blood vessels. Accidental injection can block facial veins, restricting the blood supply and potentially causing the filler to travel to other parts of the body. Other side effects include:
- Blindness or vision impairment
- Death of the skin (necrosis) and facial structure
Accidental injection into blood vessels is more likely to occur on the skin between the eyebrows and nose, in the nose, the forehead, and around the nose and eyes. This can cause severe, permanent damage to patients. Blindness is most likely to occur from autologous fat filler, and is almost always irreversible.
Signs and symptoms of blood vessel injection include: vision changes, white-appearing skin near the injection site, unusual pain, and signs of stroke (difficulty walking, severe headache, dumbness, confusion, face drooping, dizziness).
Dermal fillers are the second-most popular facial procedure (second only to Botox). In 2013, more than 2.2 million soft tissue filler procedures were done, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPC). This is an alarming 243% increase from the numbers in 2010, when just over 650,000 soft tissue procedures were conducted.
The ASPC's data also reveals that significantly more people in the Mountain / Pacific West and New England / Mid-Atlantic receive dermal fillers than in other parts of the country; and most patients are over the age of 55, Caucasian females.
An estimated 1 out of every 10,000 patients will suffer severe dermal filler complications. That's hundreds of patients every year. The surge in dermal filler popularity means more patients will suffer from accidental blood vessel injection. The FDA will continue to monitor reports of adverse side effects.