Specialist facial surgeons warn of life-altering risks to self-injecting dermal fillers
Caroline Mills, BAOMS lead on facial aesthetic and cosmetic surgery and consultant maxillofacial surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said the possible complications from self-injection are significant and potentially life changing side-effects such as blindness, chronic ongoing infection and deformity. People using the internet to buy dermal fillers and then self-injecting are often not aware of the complex facial anatomy and the need for vigilance while carrying out the procedures to reduce these risks.
Caroline said, “This is why, as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we are calling for regulation in the UK of medical professionals who inject dermal fillers in line with European Union (EU) rules. In the EU you have to have a medical licence to inject fillers, but apart from the Welsh Government no one in the UK government is saying we need similar regulation.”
BAOMS has concerns about the scope of training, health and hygiene issues such as infection control in the high street beauty salon industry. Unfortunately, serious medical complications can result from these procedures such as vascular occlusion, possibly leading to blindness, or severe allergic reactions both of which require emergency medical treatment. It’s recognising and managing these problems that is so important and where patient safety maybe compromised.
There is also an increasing cost impact to the NHS to treat high street non-surgical procedures that have complications, and at this time the full scale of the long-term problems remains unknown due to lack of suitable coding within the system.
Caroline continued, “People must fully understand the risks they are taking and consult a fully trained medical practitioner. This is why we need regulation in the UK to protect patients properly.”