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January 1990

Accidental Formaldehyde Injection in Cosmetic Blepharoplasty

Author Affiliations

Chicago, Ill

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070030025010

Formaldehyde was accidentally injected into the eyelids of a woman undergoing blepharoplasty, causing severe lid damage that required multiple reconstructive surgical procedures.

Report of a Case.  —A 59-year-old woman underwent cosmetic blepharoplasty at a surgical center. A nurse in the operating room mistakenly filled the syringes with formaldehyde from a pathologic specimen bottle that was on the operating table. The surgeon, believing that the solution was lidocaine hydrochloride, injected it subcutaneously into all four eyelids. Apparently, he realized the mistake immediately after-ward but proceeded with the blepharoplasty.I first examined the patient in October 1985, 5 weeks postoperatively. Her eyelids and medial and lateral canthi were extremely swollen, erythematous, excoriated, and necrotic (Fig 1). She had difficulty in opening her eyelids. Palpebral fissure widths were 0 mm OD and 2 mm OS. Her visual acuity was 20/40 OU.I continued treatment with the topical and systemic antibiotics she was using

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