As cosmetic procedures become increasingly common, it’s easy to forget about the risks – but a new study has delivered a timely reminder of just how dangerous even minor work can be.
The study focuses on hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, which plump up the skin from within for a younger-looking complexion. At least, that’s the idea – but a terrifying new study has highlighted that, in rare cases, it can make recipients go blind.
The new study was published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and focuses on nine patients in South Korea who experienced blindness after receiving hyaluronic acid fillers in their face.
“The highest risk areas are the area between the eyebrows, the nose and the nasal region,” Dr Sejal Shah, a New York dermatologist, told Allure. Blindness can occur when the HA is accidentally injected into a blood vessel.
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons’ President Dr Mark Ashton tells news.com.au of over 100 known cases of blindness from facial fillers – a figure he calls “a conservative estimate.”
“With the increase in use there has been an associated downgrading of the risks that come with hyaluronic acid fillers,” he says. “We just want to explain to patients that having fillers is not a trivial exercise.”
“Cosmetic surgery is real surgery and people die from this.”
Hyaluronic acid is a popular anti-ageing ingredient famed for its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water – a fantastic ingredient to look for in your skincare products, but perhaps not necessarily to inject.