Dermal injection of fillers is a popular and relatively safe aesthetic procedure. Severe complications are rare, but they do occur. One of the most threatening complications after dermal filler injection is skin necrosis due to vascular occlusion. Different treatment options are available, including the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy. A 46-year-old female received facial dermal filler injections with calcium hydroxylapatite at an aesthetic clinic. A few days after injection she developed a burning pain, numbness of the skin and white discoloration in the injected area. Two days after injection treatment was started with hyaluronidase and warm compresses. In addition, the patient received prednisolone, sildenafil and nifedipine. After the start of these treatments, the pain, numbness and discoloration of the skin persisted. Because of dermal ischemia and to improve healing she was referred for HBO2. Treatment consisted of 10 sessions of 100% oxygen for 90 minutes in a multiplace chamber at 2.5 atmospheres absolute pressure. During HBO2 the discoloration resolved, pain and numbness disappeared, and the tissue healed completely. After a six-month follow-up she had an excellent cosmetic outcome. Given the pathophysiologic mechanisms of vascular complications after dermal filler injection, HBO2 should be considered when treating these complications.
Keywords: filler; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; ischemia; vascular occlusion.
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