An Australian woman has been left blind in one eye after a cosmetic injection, in a worldwide trend doctors have labelled ‘alarming’.
The woman ended up at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital in April, where doctors were unable to restore her sight in one eye, according to a Four Corners report.
She received the filler by a nurse at a clinic, and reportedly no doctor was present. Dr John Downie, Prince of Wales Hospital ophthalmologist, who treated the patient at the hospital, said it is ‘alarming’ this could happen after a cosmetic procedure.
Especially given they are often marketed as ‘simple’ and relatively ‘risk-free’.
“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.
He explained that the blindness happens if an artery is blocked by the dermal filler, if it is accidentally injected into a blood vessel in or under the skin around the eye.
“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,” he explained.
The most shocking thing is, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. As of 2015, there had been nearly 100 similar incidents reported internationally.
A study in 2017 even highlighted the risks associated with certain cosmetic procedures.
The study from South Korea – where the highest number per capita of cosmetic surgery procedures are performed – was published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and involved a total of nine female patients between the ages of 26 and 45.
They were injected with hyaluronic acid, and the patients all suffered permanent vision loss. Worse still, according to the reports and studies, no cure has yet been found for this type of vision loss.
At the time a release from the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons said people need to be aware that the use of fillers and anti-wrinkle injections are essentially invasive procedures and are not risk-free.
The organisation’s president, Dr. Mark Ashton, warned that these cases of blindness can occur after injections administered not just around the eyes. Injections near any part of a facial artery can put the patient at risk – such as near the nose, forehead, cheeks, and lips.
“The material can travel along the artery all the way up to the corner of the eye, and then that goes into the retina,” he told news.com.au.
“The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeon’s priority is patient safety, and we are concerned that the general public thinks cosmetic procedures such as injectables, fillers, and lasers are not hazardous and therefore pose no risk,” he said.
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