What is a vascular occlusion?

Something I inform my clients about and get asked about regularly is vascular occlusion. But what is vascular occlusion? Put simply, it is an obstructed vessel or artery.

You may recall your injector talking about this as a risk of getting filler placed. A vascular occlusion can happen anywhere in the body, but the area we are referring to is within the vicinity that we are injecting.

Is a vascular occlusion life threatening? It can be, and we take this very seriously. Getting filler should be no more painful than the initial procedure. If you find you have significant increase in pain, discolouration (note this can also just be bruising), an area going white, and/or a reduced capillary refill (press your skin and count how long it takes to pink up again, a normal cap refill is 3 seconds or less) please get in touch with your injector.

A safe practicing injector should have medication in stock that can be used to dissolve the placed filler, and which can help restore blood flow. A vascular occlusion does not mean that you had a bad injector. Remember, this is a medical procedure, and there are risks – with vascular occlusion being one of them. About 30% of injectors will see a vascular occlusion in their career.

When you think of the many thousands of people now getting injectables each day, the risk of a vascular occlusion occurring is actually quite low, but something that all clients should be aware of.

Disclaimer: Content in this blog and linked materials is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, professional medical treatment should be sought. Call your doctor or emergency services immediately if you believe you have a medical emergency.