Background: 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.
Objective: To review the cases of blindness after filler injection, to highlight key aspects of the vascular anatomy, and to discuss prevention and management strategies.
Methods: A literature review was performed to identify all the cases of vision changes from filler in the world literature.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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.