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Avoiding complications in tweakments

30th April 2024

Whether it’s filler that has gone lumpy, or a heavy brow after toxin treatment, complications are something we’d all prefer not to think about. But they can and do happen. So, I lined up an Instagram Live with the brilliant Gillian Murray who is co-founder of the Complications in Medical Aesthetics Collaborative, to talk about common tweakment complications, which ones can be treated successfully (and which can’t), and how to avoid them.

One key point that Gillian made was that, given the sheer number of tweakments that are carried out every day, complications are the exception rather than the norm, but for anyone who has a complication (I’ve had a few over the years), they’re a disaster. On the live, we talked about three of the more common complications which a number of you have mentioned in messages to me recently.

There’s little Gillian doesn’t know about complications.  She is a clinical prescribing pharmacist, and through CMAC she works with a group of highly qualified aesthetic experts who are aiming to raise the standard of clinical practice in the prevention and management of complications. Here are some of the topline points from our conversation.

 

What to do about lumpy filler or delayed-onset nodules?

Suppose a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler becomes lumpy either soon after treatment or months or even years afterwards. What can be done? Luckily, in that case, it should be possible to have it dissolved (using something called hyaluronidase – though that’s not always as straightforward as it sounds). Unfortunately, if the filler was a longer-lasting substance, it will be more difficult to treat and may need surgical excision. That’s why knowing what you are having injected is so important.

Why does filler sometimes ‘migrate’?

Well-placed filler ought to stay where it’s injected, but if it’s not well-placed, or too much is used, it can sometimes drift off from the original injection site. Actually it’s less of a drift, and more a result of being squeezed: the lips, for example, are a very mobile area, and if there’s too much filler in them, the filler will move along the path of least resistance to lessen the pressure, and usually ends up above the upper lip. The remedy? Dissolving the filler with hyaluronidase, then re-injecting, carefully, with more filler, to get a better result. Choosing a great practitioner will help.

 

What to do about heavy brows or droopy eyelids after toxin?

When you get a droopy eyelid or a brow that sits right down on your eyes, it’s because muscle-relaxing toxin has been injected in the wrong place, or it has diffused and drifted from where it ought to be. With heavy brows, you’ll probably have to wait until the effects of the toxin have worn off, and the same with eyelid ptosis (droop). Unless, that is, you have access to a practitioner who can do a particularly nifty fix, which you can see on Gillian’s TikTok, being demonstrated by nurse-practitioner Brittony Croasdell.

If you’d like to hear the whole live and catch Gillian’s key tips for choosing a great practitioner,  watch below from  The Tweakments Guide Instagram 

 

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