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Could Popular Wrinkle Treatment Lead to Serious Medical Error?

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 hesitate to contacta San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.