Soft tissue fillers are becoming a popular way to turn back the hands of
time. When injected into the face, they can create a smoother or fuller
appearance, such as decreasing the appearance of wrinkles or enhancing lips.
Unfortunately, if soft tissue fillers are not injected properly, they can
result in serious medical errors. The risk of injury is significantly higher when administered by health
care providers who lack the appropriate training and experience or who
are not knowledgeable about the anatomy around the injection site.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning about
one particular risk — the
unintentional injection of soft tissue fillers into blood vessels. As highlighted by the agency, the serious side effect can block blood
vessels and restrict blood supply to tissues.
When embolization occurs, the filler material can also travel to other
parts of the body, which can cause even greater injury. Potential complications
include vision impairment, blindness, stroke and damage and/or death of
the skin (necrosis) and underlying facial structures.
According to the FDA, the unintentional injection of soft tissue fillers
into blood vessels is more common at certain injection sites, including
the skin between the eyebrows and nose (glabella), in and around the nose,
forehead, and around the eyes. To reduce the risks, the FDA advises doctors
to use extra care, such as injecting the product slowly and applying the
least amount of pressure necessary. It also recommends that health care
providers educate themselves about the signs and symptoms associated with
injection into blood vessels, and create an updated plan for how to treat
the patient if complications should occur.
Going forward, the FDA is also working with drug manufacturers to update
labeling to include additional warnings, precautions, and other information
about the risk of unintentional injection into blood vessels, so that
both doctors and patients have a better understanding of the risks.
If you or someone you love has suffered from medical negligence, don’t
contacta San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.