The reports don’t lie: the injection of fillers in the face may unintentionally lead to skin necrosis or blindness when the substance gets injected in an artery, causing occlusion of that blood vessel. Although these terrible complications are very rare, they do occur, and it is still up to the injector to ensure that every precaution is taken to avoid them. For you as a patient, the first step is to choose a qualified practitioner who is committed to safety and who has received the appropriate training.
Blindness and skin necrosis result from the injection of filler material into an artery of the face. When the substance is injected in an artery, the filler particles spread to the narrower blood vessels further away (also called capillaries), causing an obstruction. The average diameter of a filler particle is 300 to 700 microns while that of the capillaries varies between 3 and 40 microns, which makes it clear why the particles can cause an occlusion. These capillaries ensure that oxygen is supplied to, and waste products can be removed from the end organ (in this case the skin or retina). However, any obstruction will prevent adequate oxygen supply, causing cell death. Skin cells that die will result in skin necrosis or blackening of the skin, leading to terrible wound formation and scarring complications. A similar process happens to the eye: if the retinal cells die due to a lack of oxygen, light signals are no longer captured, which will lead to blindness.
As easy as the potential solution may be, the harder it is to turn it into a workable product. Because the arteries run in a different way in every patient, it is impossible to know their exact course, merely based on what your injector has learned through their anatomy books. These uncertainties have been present in all injectors worldwide, but no one has ever found a solution… until now.
Prof. Dr. Benoit Hendrickx, founder, and CEO of Augmented Anatomy turned a dream of seeing through someone’s skin into a reality. Together with his team, he developed ARtery3D, the world’s first solution to help you and your injector visualising your specific arteries. ARtery3D entails a complete workflow that enables your practitioner to visualise your individual and unique arterial network through augmented reality. And all your practitioner needs is a smartphone!
In order to see your individual anatomy, we need a one-time, risk-free MRI taken in a radiology center of your choice. This step is mandatory and will enable us to deliver a visualization of your arteries through augmented reality. As the vascular anatomy of the face rarely changes over time, this one scan suffices for the next 10 years of filler treatments. Your practitioner will guide you along the way.