Home Ask The Doctor Should a doctor know where the arteries in the face are to avoid causing blindness or skin necrosis from filler?

Should a doctor know where the arteries in the face are to avoid causing blindness or skin necrosis from filler?

I had a filler consult with a facial plastic surgeon and he said there is no way to know exactly where the arteries in the face are with everyone to avoid injecting in it and that you’re pretty much just taking a chance when getting fillers done. Is this true?

The arteries in the body follow a general plan which is similar in everyone, but there is variation from person to person. Veins are more variable but also follow a general plan. It is important that your injector understand the anatomy of the face, not just the veins and arteries, but also the nerves, muscles, bones and fat pads to help you achieve the optimum aesthetic result in the safest fashion. There are certainly “danger zones” where filler should not be injected, as this can result in blindness. Thankfully such devastating side effects are extremely rare. In my practice I use a blunt tipped cannula to inject dermal fillers, as there is a much-reduced risk of injections into arteries and veins. It’s important to make a fully informed decision regarding injections with fillers, and to find an injector who is adequately trained in anatomy and safe injecting technique: your safety should be the number one priority.