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Woman goes blind in one eye from cosmetic filler injected in face

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One of the Doctors I’m fortunate to be a previous patient/ colleague 

Dr John Downie

Source : ABC four corners 

Australian doctors have treated their first patient who has gone permanently blind from having dermal filler injected into her face.

A Four Corners investigation revealed that in April, the woman was taken to the ophthalmology department at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital, where despite the best efforts of doctors, her sight in one eye could not be restored. 

She was given the filler by a nurse at a clinic where there was no doctor physically present.

Prince of Wales Hospital ophthalmologist, Dr John Downie, who treated the patient, agreed it was "alarming" that a patient could go blind from what is marketed as a simple cosmetic procedure. 

"The problem I get is that people perceive a cosmetic procedure to have limited or no risk, and that's not the case," Dr Downie said. 

While fillers and anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox are often done by nurses in shopping malls with only a brief Skype consultation with a doctor, they involve injection into the face of a Schedule 4 drug classified under the Poisons Standard.

Dr Downie said blindness can occur when an artery is blocked by the dermal filler.

"The filler or other substance is inadvertently injected into one of the blood vessels in the skin around, or under the skin around the eye," he said.

"That material goes back along that artery to one of the bigger arteries around the eye, and then it can flow and block off the blood vessels going to the eye, or inside the eye.


Internationally, there have been 98 documented cases of blindness caused by fillers. 


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Scary stuff :(

It doesn't happen often, that we know of, but yes, people need to be wary of who is performing these procedures and know that there are definitely risks involved.

This article is interesting, and terrifying:

Prof Ashton said blindness from filler can occur following an injection anywhere on the face, not just around the delicate eye area. Even lip injections, which are hugely popular among young women, can cause blindness.

“If you get inadvertent injection of filler in any part of the facial artery, that can travel along the artery all the way up to the corner of the eye and then that goes into the retina,” he said.

It seems botox isn't quite as risky:

“If you inject Botox into an artery, there isn’t any evidence of that resulting in soft tissue death or blindness,” Prof Ashton said.


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/18/2018 at 7:07 PM, donatella said:

I said this earlier in the year when someone asked about a liquid rhinoplasty. Its always been a risk, death is a risk with general anaesthetic. I’m glad people are finally listening and taking it seriously though but it’s been known and on your consent forms for years  ?‍♀️

I’ll be honest when I go to LCA or any other clinics I don’t read the consent forms,my  next visit I’m going to read every single word!!

in this case did the women get liquid rhino? It says only face?

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On 8/30/2018 at 8:33 PM, cosmetic said:

I’ll be honest when I go to LCA or any other clinics I don’t read the consent forms,my  next visit I’m going to read every single word!!

in this case did the women get liquid rhino? It says only face?

The case in Australia was from tear troughs which many will be shocked because also a highly treated area x

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ive heard a few cases involving occlusion (not involving blindness)-  it is a risk - I think the most important part is to be aware of it and to treat it asap - in most cases when it is treated immediately with hyalaise there are no long term effects


Strangely enough, and maybe off topic slightly, but i had a mole removed recently from my GP who just started doing fillers and botox and he confessed to me that he has never been trained to use hyalaise - WOW thanks but no thanks give me a good quality nurse injector annnnny day of the week 


With these kinds of risks - if you are in the industry, if you attend conferences and workshops, you are well aware of the risks, are well informed of what to look for and are well informed of the best treatment methods early on that can minimise the risk of long term complications then your risks are extremely low. 

 Any injector (Dr or Nurse) who lives and breathes this industry should be well equipped to recognise, diagnose and treat.

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