Injectable soft tissue fillers have become an increasingly popular option for facial rejuvenation in recent years. Their rise in popularity has been driven by a number of factors, including their minimally invasive nature. The treating physician should keep in mind that the potential exists for complications, especially in the hands of a novice injector. Fortunately, most complications are minor and transient in nature, although the patient may consider them aesthetically displeasing and unacceptable. Major complications are rare, but they can produce permanent, disfiguring damage.
The most common side effects of fillers are bruising, infection and allergic reaction. There can be significant complications if the operator accidentally injects filler into blood vessels, the most common being potential skin loss. Beware of permanent fillers, which are prone to significant and long-term side effects. Swelling occurs from both the inflammatory effects of the injection itself and the increased volume of the filler. In addition, particular fillers can increase the risk of swelling.