CANN – Cosmetic Appearance Medicine Nurses of New Zealand want the use of dermal fillers regulated after reports of blindness and disfigurement become more prevalent
In a rare complication, filler injected near the nose, even the lips, and anywhere near the temple can travel through blood vessels feeding the eye, and starve them of blood and oxygen, resulting in blindness.
There have been 100 such cases worldwide.
Non-surgical nose jobs using dermal fillers can cost around $1000, whereas a surgical nose job can cost $20,000. However there is very real danger of blindness during this treatment.
Under the proposed Therapeutic Products Bill, expected to go before Parliament next year, there will be a regulatory framework around the use of dermal fillers.
The classification of dermal fillers changed from “medicine” to “medical device” in 2014, meaning that anyone can use them.
“In terms of the type of classification we have for medicines in legislation (ie prescription-only, pharmacy-only under the current Medicines Act 1981), there are currently no similar legal restrictions on who can use medical devices,” says Medsafe group manager Chris James.
Dr Raetz, President of NZSCM, stated in a recent article: “We saw a problem looming where this is not a medical device that you would use in a theatre with lots of medical professionals around. This is something you can do in the back of a cosmetic clinic.”
Since the classification change there have been five “adverse event reports” associated with the use of dermal fillers, according to the Ministry of Health.
We recently had a case in Auckland where the woman was taken to Auckland Hospital and could not be treated as the medical staff were not aware of how dermal fillers work. She was eventually rushed to Dr Paul Rosser, Specialist Eye Surgeon, who is well aware of the dangers with dermal fillers and blindness and began assessment and treatment immediately.
Of all the cases of blindness caused by dermal filler, not one has been reversed.
CANN believes people shouldn’t be discouraged from getting dermal fillers with experienced medical professionals, but they need to be well informed of all the risks.
Its important that the public know that they need to look at having their treatments done by a registered professional, preferably with intensive training and experience, a professional with a detailed understanding of the anatomy and what to do if there is an adverse event. Using a back street injector with no medical training and who is not specialised in cosmetic injecting is just asking for trouble.
For peace of mind, check if your injector is an Accredited member of CANN. Our Accredited CANN nurses are experienced in cosmetic treatments and follow the highest standards of patient safety and care.
You can see if your injector is an accredited member of CANN by: