Facial Anatomy

Knowing the facial anatomy is fundamental to performing aesthetic surgery. A provider’s lack of understanding of the intricate web of facial muscles, nerves, arteries and more can turn a relatively simple injection technique, with botulinum toxin or a filler, into a serious complication.

All aestheticians should have a very good knowledge of the facial anatomy. That includes the subcutaneous planes of anatomy: different nerves, muscles, as well as blood vessels, and whether they’re arteries, veins, big ones, little ones. This is especially important around periocular areas.

Without a comprehensive anatomical understanding, a physician injecting dermal fillers, for example, might inject into a vessel, causing a catastrophic event, like blindness. Blindness might also result from Kenalog or steroid injections. The problem is there are vessels that have no valves, and fillers can cause clots in a retinal artery.

Skin necrosis also occurs when injectors don’t fully understand facial anatomy.

Botulinum toxin, for example, works by blocking the neurotransmitter from the nerve and nerve-ending fibre that goes into the muscle. So, providers injecting into the forehead or glabella need to know the muscle anatomy, the functions of the muscles, as well as the effects to surrounding muscles.

Having the needed education is more important than ever for injectors. Traditionally, filler injections were done in the nasolabial folds. But, now, because of new filler types and a better understanding of what’s youthful and more beautiful, injections to other areas of the face are common, including the cheeks, temples, periorbital areas, eyebrows, lips and jawline.

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