Avoiding and Treating Blindness From Fillers: A Review of the World Literature : Dermatologic Surgery

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Avoiding and Treating Blindness From Fillers

A Review of the World Literature

Beleznay, Katie MD, FRCPC, FAAD*; Carruthers, Jean D. A. MD, FRCSC, FRC (OPHTH), FASOPRS; Humphrey, Shannon MD, FRCPC, FAAD*; Jones, Derek MD‡,§

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Dermatologic Surgery 41(10):p 1097-1117, October 2015. | DOI: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000486



As the popularity of soft tissue fillers increases, so do the reports of adverse events. The most serious complications are vascular in nature and include blindness.


To review the cases of blindness after filler injection, to highlight key aspects of the vascular anatomy, and to discuss prevention and management strategies.


A literature review was performed to identify all the cases of vision changes from filler in the world literature.


Ninety-eight cases of vision changes from filler were identified. The sites that were high risk for complications were the glabella (38.8%), nasal region (25.5%), nasolabial fold (13.3%), and forehead (12.2%). Autologous fat (47.9%) was the most common filler type to cause this complication, followed by hyaluronic acid (23.5%). The most common symptoms were immediate vision loss and pain. Most cases of vision loss did not recover. Central nervous system complications were seen in 23.5% of the cases. No treatments were found to be consistently successful in treating blindness.


Although the risk of blindness from fillers is rare, it is critical for injecting physicians to have a firm knowledge of the vascular anatomy and to understand key prevention and management strategies.

© 2015 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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