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If you have a complication does this mean you chose a bad injector?

More and more I see reports of complications with aesthetic treatments where the injector is cast as poorly skilled or dangerous. But is this really the case?

To answer this question, we firstly need to remind ourselves that these are medical treatments. With every treatment there are risks. You can get complications with the most experienced injector. Experienced injectors often have higher complications rates because they inject more patients. If an injector has no complications they likely inject very few people or aren’t honest about the number of complications they have.

Having a complication doesn’t make you a bad injector. Complications happen. It’s how they are treated that is the issue.

Recently there was an article in a popular newspaper with a story about a lady who unfortunately had a complication with lip fillers. The patient developed a blood vessel blockage. The injector identified the complication and used a recognised treatment to reverse the blockage. The patient then had a reaction to the medication and the patient was sent to the emergency department for further treatment. The article insinuated the injector had botched things and the patient's face was ruined.

As a fellow injector reading the article, I thought the management of the complication was excellent. A complication was identified early and appropriate treatment was given. Then a reaction to a medication occurred and the patient was referred for more advanced care to the emergency department. This is what we are taught to do in Medicine. This was a successful treatment of a complication with the patient having no permanent facial concerns and being healthy and alive after treatment. The patient had an experienced injector who understood complications and managed them appropriately. But the story made the injector appear in a poor light.

Complications can and do occur with these treatments. A good injector will listen to the patient, investigate the concern and look for a resolution.

Sometimes complications may take longer to manage or don’t resolve completely. Sometimes they resolve with out intervention and just need a little time to settle. The risks of procedures are explained prior to treatment but it can be hard to take it all in. Sometimes a complication occurs even if you have had the treatment many times. It is all so unpredictable.

Good injectors will see you for a follow up, assess the situation as best they can, call for reinforcements if they must and refer as appropriate. If they are able to treat and reverse the complication they do, sometimes they can’t and they will monitor you while the side effects wear off. This can often be harder because the injector feels powerless to help you but supports you non the less.

Patients often feel angry and resentful towards injectors once they have a complication. If an injector is seeing you and doing everything they can to help, then being angry with them doesn’t help. They are trying to help.

You may decide to never see the injector again if you have a complication but the fact that they stood by you and supported you through the process, is proof they are a good injector. Bad injectors will ignore you, block you on Facebook and Instagram and not support you through the process.

If you do experience a complication and your injector helps you through it, then you have a good injector. Their response to the complication shows whether they are a good injector, not the complication itself.

Dr Kim Booysen is a qualified doctor who offers medical aesthetic treatments in Bromley and Beckenham in London. Consultations can be booked via


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