Thursday, December 13, 2012

Complications of Tear Trough Treatment II

Ever since the invention of syringe and hypodermic needles, various substances have been injected into human faces in the name of beauty. Some of these substances were initially embraced with great enthusiasm only to be discovered later that they cause delayed and serious side effects. One of the these substances is liquid silicone as mentioned in the previous post. Unfortunately, it is still being used by unscrupulous unlicensed personnels due to their cheapness. Many of these gullible victims are left with disfigurements years later and when they tried to get answers from the perpetrators they  are often told that the problems have nothing to do with the initial injections as the complications did
not occur immediately.

The history of seeking the perfect filler began with miner oil (Vaseline). It was first injected in Austria in 1899 to replace a patient’s testicle removed because of TB infection. The initial report was favourable which led to the use of Vaseline and similar product such as paraffin in the first 20 years of the 20th century. However, even with initial good results, seoncdary or late severe complications appeared due to their dispersion causing nodule formations. The most famous victim of paraffin injection was Gladys Spencer-Churchill (1881- 1977), second wife of the 9th Duke of Marlborough. She was an American beauty and was regarded as the most beautiful woman in the West. However, she was unhappy with a kink on her nose and had paraffin injection. The paraffin later migrated to her chin producing paraffinomas (inflammation of tissues caused by paraffin) throughout her face. She became so distressed by her appearance that she did not permit any mirrors in her house. She became a recluse and develop ed mental illness.

Gladys before and after paraffin injection.

Incredibly, paraffin injection is still very much alive in the 21st century. A quick search in the medical literature yield reports of complications from  their uses to enhance various body organs such as penises and breasts. A few years ago, a woman consulted me because of progressively swollen cheeks after paraffin injection by an oversea “doctor”. She was persuaded by her beautician to have the injections to remove her tear troughs and make her cheek bones more attractive. The “doctor” reassured her that the injection was not silicone but the “safe” paraffin. Following the injections, the face appeared more pleasing but 9 months later the cheeks began to swell. She went back to the beauty saloon to seek help but was told the doctor had left with no forwarding address. She asked for removal of the swellings as they are causing discomfort and constant redness. However, such operation is often fought with difficulty because of the diffused nature of the swellings. The swellings were eventually removed after a lengthy operation and extensive reconstruction was needed to reconstruct the midface.

Swollen cheeks from paraffin injections.

Removal of the paraffinoma. This operation should not be
taken lightly as the reconstruction is extensive.




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