Wrinkle-filler treatment comes with risks, eye surgeon cautions

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by JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM

DALLAS — Primping involves more than mascara and nice hair for Jill D'Aoust these days.

She needs tape.

"I do tape my eye open,” D’Aoust said, “so I can see better, so I can drive, and do paperwork."

A droopy right eye and now, double vision, is the result of a botched wrinkle-filler treatment three weeks ago.

“By Sunday morning, my eye would not open on its own," she said. "I actually had to pick up my lid and open it with my finger.”

"Unfortunately, if the toxin migrates around muscles that help the eye elevate or move the eye, it can paralyze those as well and can cause the problems Jill has, (...) because the muscles aren't functioning correctly,” explained Dr. Mark Mazow, an eye surgeon at Eye Plastic Surgery Associates in Dallas.

Mazow is an eye surgeon who sees serious cases, like Jill's.

Special eye drops or glasses can help the condition. Most wrinkle treatments, including Dysport and Botox, wear off with time.

With more than four million injections given just last year, wrinkle fillers are easy to find and simple to get. Or, so it seemed to D'Aoust.

"It was a place I had gone to for hormonal treatments,” she said. "I wish I'd have asked her how many times she'd done it, how long she'd done it, were there any ill side-effects that could happen. I just didn't know. I wasn't aware."

D'Aoust questions now if the person who gave her the treatment at that hormone clinic knew enough about facial anatomy.

Botox and other injectable fillers are controlled substances. Only someone with a medical license can order it. The Texas Medical Board recently stiffened rules to require "either a physician or mid-level practitioner being on-site" during the injection, though they do not have administer the injection themselves.

The Physicians'Coalition for Injectable Safety is now calling on standardized training for anyone that wields the needle. Right now, there are no such rules.

Mazow believes there should be.

“The training and the experience of an injector, in terms of distribution and dosage, is important,” Dr. Mazow said.

"The take-home message is that patients ought to know the risks beforehand and ask questions," he said.

D'Aoust's injections at a hormone treatment clinic turned out to be anything but convenient. She can’t work the hours she once did, and driving with one eye closed – or taped open – isn’t easy.

“It didn’t turn out to be the treatment that I thought it would be,” she said, “and it wouldn’t have cost me any more to go to anybody else.

It could take six months for the effects to wear off so she can put her best face forward again.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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