When Filler Spells Disaster

Blogs » When Filler Spells Disaster


Next to Botox, Dermal Fillers is probably the second most requested non-surgical face-rejuvenating procedure in Thailand, and probably all over the world. With filler’s alluring promise of “cheap, painless, and no recovery needed” treatment which brings highly satisfactory result, patients and medical practitioners alike are finding it as one of the best cure-all anti-aging techniques currently available in the market.


With the rise to fame of the product, however, also came the rise of available imitation products like those sold over the internet at a fraction of the cost. Also with the fame comes the less responsible use of the material with everybody thinking that it’s just a simple injection, anybody who knows how to inject can do it, thus, now, the use of dermal fillers has also resulted in the most disastrous cosmetic results.


We all know that beauty and health products sold over the internet with no known manufacturer and distributor to their name should outright be questioned, but how about Class A imitations with the same name and labels as that of the popular brands, how do you determine their authenticity? Simple answer is you don’t, you shouldn’t. Remember how reluctant you were to try on a new moisturizer that your friend is recommending? Or how you thought twice about changing the brand of your shampoo? This feeling should remind you of how unsafe it is to try something you bought over the internet, especially something you have to inject directly to your body.


Now how about if you go to a center advertising filler injections, how do you know it is the real filler you are having? Price issue, let’s face it, we all love a good bargain. It feels good to be able to avail of something we regard to have of greater value at a lesser cost, but the thing is, filler injections are not shirts and dresses that will go out of style the next season that’s why they go on sale, licensed distributors from FDA manufacturers don’t just one day decide to drop-down their prices unless it comes from the manufacturers themselves, and clinics, will not give discount prices that will sell them short from their raw materials. So, you find a “too-good to be true” advertisement of filler injection for just a fraction of the cost you usually see from most centers, this should already sound an alarm. The cost of fillers all over the world is almost the same provided they are using the same legitimate brand, varying costs may only be attributed to doctor’s fees, and taxes, but usually the difference is not much.


Once you have found the average price and went to a cosmetic center, what’s next? Fillers comes in pre-filled syringes with their own packages (box). It is your right to ask your doctor/injector to open the box in front of you if you want. This will however have to be voiced out during consultation as centers have protocols, some centers will have everything prepared so by the time the doctor steps in, all the materials are already within reach, and the nurse (assistant) will just be giving the doctor what he/she needs, all boxes opened, all materials laid out and ready. If you inform your doctor that you want the package opened in front of you, they will definitely extend the courtesy for you. You may even ask for the serial number of the fillers if you want. All boxes have their serial numbers which you can check with the website of the manufacturer for authenticity.


You now have the right budget and the authentic product, what’s next? The next factor is the injector. Generally, when you first come to the center and ask about filler injections, the first step is for you to see a doctor to discuss the types of fillers available and the indications and possible side effects of each of them. Do not be afraid to look innocent, ask all the questions you want and make sure you understand everything and that you are comfortable with your doctor’s answers. It may just be a simple injection, but it also takes only one look at google to see what can possibly go wrong when the injection is not done properly.


In our more than 30 years of cosmetic experience, with our head surgeon being a faculty member and a consulting surgeon of one of Thailand’s most well-respected teaching hospitals, we have seen our share of several plastic surgery procedures that had gone wrong, we have repaired simple filler injections that almost ruined an entire face, and it can actually be fairly common nowadays due to the popularity of the procedure.


Understand that fillers is injected on a specific layer to fill in wrinkles or to add volume on a certain area, however, if filler particles get into the blood stream and disturbs blood supply in the area, it can cause necrosis, especially on the nose tip as blood circulation on the area can be compromised easily, but worse is, if the injection is performed near the eyes, and it blocks an artery, it can cause irreversible blindness. Now, how does a procedure seemingly simple as fillers cause this? There is a safety protocol in injecting fillers, and it is not that simple, extensive knowledge of the anatomy is necessary to lessen the chances of these complications, careful administration is also important as well as proper monitoring right after injection and the sad thing is, not all doctors and surgeons follow this anymore, so make sure yours do.


Patients often ask us why they need to do a followup days after the injection, it’s just an injection. Yes it is just an injection, but there is very little difference to the symptoms of complications and the normal side effects and we understand and accept that even with more than 30 years of experience, complications may happen, and we cannot promise that it won’t, what we can promise is that we do everything to avoid it, and what we can guarantee is that it had never happened in our center before.







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