What are the risks associated with non-surgical cosmetic procedures?
Common side-effects with filler injections include the following:
1. Injection sites may appear swollen for several days (normal up to 10 days) following treatment. Use ice and gentle pressure as needed for the first two days. (20 minutes four times a day).
2. You may develop large bruises at injection sites. This may take several days to resolve. It is okay to cover with makeup.
Although fairly uncommon especially with the use of a blunt-tipped cannula, there are risks that patients should be aware of with hyaluronic acid filler injections to the tear troughs. All patients should be aware of these risks and although they are uncommon they are treatable. Such risks include persistent swelling for more than several weeks and palpable “bumps” of product. Although uncommon, these can be seen and are treated accordingly. Delayed swelling is seen more often in patients that have undergone prior eyelid surgery. If this occurs, the product may have to be removed using an enzyme called hyaluronidase (ie vitrase, wydase). Hyaluronidase is effective in breaking up the enzyme within minutes after it is injected. It is injected in the office under topical anesthesia similar to your initial filler injections. In cases where there are visible or palpable “bumps” of product, hyaluronidase can also be injected to directly remove the product.
Even rarer are instances of product being directly injected into a vessel or resulting in a local vascular compression. In order to help reduce such instances, we use blunt-tipped cannulas to perform our injections which theoretically reduces such risk since the cannula is blunt-tipped and more difficult to penetrate into a vessel. A cannula is a tube with an edge that is not sharp, designed for atraumatic intradermal injections of fluids. Nevertheless, when this happens, the skin that is supplied by that involved vessel can become purple, painful, and ultimately necrotic if not addressed appropriately. We have a protocol in our office to address such issues and to immediately treat this urgently. Patients are warned of such risks and to contact our office immediately so we can act accordingly.
Advantages of using a blunt-tippped cannula instead of a sharp hypodermic needle include: 1. Virtually no bruising 2. Considerably less pain 3. Minimal downtime 4. Single point of entry for wider coverage 5. Production of new collagen.