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Filler Related Complications & Vascular Occlusion & Vision Loss

Filler related complications including vascular occlusion and vision loss are not uncommon in an unregulated market in the UK where filler treatments are not classified as medical treatments and non-healthcare professionals can purchase and inject filler. Many mild complications may go unreported. Vision loss fortunately still remains rare but is one of the main concerns for medical practitioners and their patients.

Our surgeons at FaceRestoration teach other healthcare professionals the safe application of dermal filler, how to prevent and manage complications in their training academy and also provide support and treatment for patients as well as medical practitioners encountering these problems with their patients.



The vast majority of complications related to filler are mild and self-limiting, with bruising being the most common. With the appropriate precautions of avoiding blood thinners that may be stopped without compromising underlying medical conditions (including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, arnica and the four G’s, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng and ginger) for 2 weeks prior to treatments, and techniques during treatment, bruising can be minimised.

We are passionate about safety in medical aesthetics and are patient advocates working with local government to improve regulation of the filler market. We have written and published national and international consensus guidelines on asepsis in aesthetic clinical practice and vision loss protocols. These protocols can be found under Vision loss protocol and Purifeyes™️.

Our two Consultant surgeons lecture and train medical aesthetic practitioners and ophthalmologists on the evidence based management of filler complications, and are on the complications faculty as Tier 1 key opinion leaders for Allergan aesthetics (Abbvie) as well as on the board of IMCAS alert providing support for medical practitioners with filler complications.

We offer a 24 hour emergency support service and can guide you and your practitioner through the steps for successful resolution of your filler complication.

Our aim is to ensure that you are supported through the management of this complication and appreciate how distressing this can be for you. We aim to offer you a solution that allows us to restore you to your best self.

Contact us at FaceRestoration today and we would be pleased to guide you.

What is vascular occlusion?

Vascular occlusion can result in destruction of the skin and vascular supply of the occluded vessel injected. Vascular occlusion is a filler emergency, and when recognized and treated promptly with regular follow up till the vessel flow normalises, secondary complications of loss of tissue viability can be avoided.

What happens when I have vision loss?

Vision loss is possibly the most devastating of complications secondary to filler injection, but still fortunately remains exceedingly rare, with a global incidence of less than 1 in 100, 000 filler injections. It usually is noted immediately during filler injection. Some areas are of higher risk of vision loss, including the nose, between the eyebrows where the 11s or frown lines are and treatments around the eyes.No area of the face is completely risk free however, as the blood supply of the eye communicates with the blood supply to the face. With prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment, vison rescue is possible. Where hyaluronic acid is the cause of the visual disturbance, simple non-invasive treatments started immediately, may be able to improve recovery.The use of hyaluronidase which dissolves hyaluronic acid filler, in the area of the vascular territory of the occluded vessel, can improve the chances of recovery. This is why your treating practitioner should be medically qualified and trained to recognize and treat any impending or established vascular occlusion and have been trained in the means of avoiding and treating vision loss.

How do practitioners avoid complications due to infection?

Infection can also be avoided with good pre-procedure planning, avoiding treatments during on-going active infections on the skin and in general. Taking all make-up off before treatment. Good aseptic technique by the treating practitioner and post procedure antimicrobial aftercare. Delayed infections and inflammatory reactions triggered by infection can be managed successfully with early referral and treatment.Overfill, filler migration and Tyndall effect due to poor injection technique can also be successfully managed with filler reversal where the treatment is hyaluronic acid filler.

How we can help

Contact us for a consultation

Booking with us

Arrange a consultation with us using the button below at a time of your choosing. This may be held through video chat dependant on COVID guidelines at the time.

Your consultation

We will then discuss with you your symptoms and advise you on how best to proceed with helpful guidance on treatments through our expert knowledge and training.

Treatment after care

Once an appointment has been arranged, we will then begin treatment and support you along the process, including specialised aftercare.