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External and Internal Diameters of the Facial Artery Relevant to Intravascular Filler Injection

Lee, Shin-Hyo, D.V.M., Ph.D.; Ha, Tae-Jun, M.S.; Koh, Ki-Seok, Ph.D.; Song, Wu-Chul, M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 4 - p 1031–1037
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005428
Cosmetic: Original Articles
Cover Article

Background: Vision loss and skin necrosis caused by an accidental intraarterial embolism or vascular compression are rare but devastating complications when injecting filler materials into the face.

Methods: The external and internal diameters and wall thicknesses of the facial artery and its branches were measured from 41 formalin-embalmed cadavers after removing connective tissues attached to the arterial wall.

Results: The diameter and thickness of the facial artery exhibited significant interregional differences. The external and internal diameters of the facial artery were 1.9 ± 0.4 and 1.2 ± 0.3 mm (mean ± SD), respectively, at the inferior border of the mandible; 1.7 ± 0.3 and 1.2 ± 0.3 mm in the vicinity of the inferior labial artery; 1.5 ± 0.3 and 1.0 ± 0.3 mm at the mouth corner; 1.4 ± 0.3 and 0.9 ± 0.2 mm in the vicinity of the superior labial artery; and 1.1 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.2 mm in the vicinity of the lateral nasal artery. The external and internal diameters at the proximal parts of the inferior labial artery, superior labial artery, and lateral nasal artery were 1.0 ± 0.3 and 0.6 ± 0.2 mm, 0.9 ± 0.3 and 0.6 ± 0.2 mm, and 0.8 ± 0.2 and 0.5 ± 0.2 mm, respectively.

Conclusion: Morphometric examinations of the facial artery under stereomicroscope observation as performed in the present study are expected to be more accurate than direct measurements obtained during cadaveric dissection or conventional histologic evaluations.

Seoul, Republic of Korea

From the Department of Anatomy, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine.

Received for publication February 2, 2018; accepted September 25, 2018.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Wu-Chul Song, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, Konkuk University School of Medicine, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea,

©2019American Society of Plastic Surgeons