Botox “Parties” Not Just Fun and Games, Advises The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

NEW YORK, NY (May 19, 2008)—Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show that almost 2.8 million Botox procedures were performed last year. Botox has been the most popular cosmetic procedure since 2000, and the number of procedures performed has increased 82% in the past five years. But amidst all the positive reports of the benefits of Botox are some disturbing trends. In particular, reports of so-called “Botox parties” have raised red flags for many medical professionals.

According to ASAPS, the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic surgery of the face and body, Botox treatments are safe when performed by a qualified clinician in an appropriate setting. However, before undergoing Botox injections at a party, or anywhere else, make sure you can answer “Yes” to the following questions:

  • Have you been asked to provide a complete medical history? A patient should fully disclose any medical conditions you might have, and medications you are taking including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs. This information will help your clinician select the most effective procedure for you, with the fewest side-effects.
     
  • Have you been advised on alternative treatments? Part of the purpose of a pre-treatment consultation is the thorough evaluation of each patient for whatever treatment is being proposed. In the case of Botox, not everyone is an appropriate candidate. For some patients, other treatments or even a surgical procedure may be more effective. No one should undergo any nonsurgical treatment without personal evaluation by a qualified physician.
     
  • Have you been advised of the risks and given your informed consent? A patient should make sure the benefits and risks are fully explained in a patient consultation. Plastic surgeons use the consultation process to educate patients about the proposed procedure. Every procedure has inherent risks and benefits; the hallmark of informed consent is the understanding of risks and benefits, and realistic expectations.
     
  • Is a qualified clinician administering the treatment? While Botox treatment is both safe and effective, every medical procedure has risks and possible complications. It is imperative that Botox be administered by an experienced clinician who understands facial anatomy and proper Botox injection techniques.
     
  • Is the physical setting appropriate for administering medical treatment, including handling emergency situations? Any injectable should be administered in an appropriate setting using sterile instruments.
     
  • Do you know what you are being injected with? Disturbing reports of patients being injected with everything from liquid silicone to baby oil and other unapproved products are appearing in the press on a regular basis. Currently Botox-Cosmetic manufactured by Allergan is the only form of Botulinum Toxin that is FDA-approved for purchase within the United States.
     
  • Are you willing and able to follow post-treatment instructions? Botox treatment requires that the patient restrict physical activity for a period following the injections. Failure to follow post-treatment instructions can lead to complications. In a party atmosphere, people may tend to forget such restrictions, particularly if alcohol is being served.
     
  • Will you receive adequate follow-up care? Botox is a temporary treatment, and results usually last only a few months. Nevertheless, follow-up care is an important part of the doctor-patient relationship, and should not be overlooked, even when treatment is administered outside of the usual medical setting.

“Botox parties” may offer some benefit to patients by reducing the cost of their individual treatment. However, unless proper measures are in place to ensure both safety and effectiveness of treatments, ASAPS advises that you enjoy the party, but get your Botox injections in the doctor’s office.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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