Considering Cosmetic Injectable Treatments?

Select clinicians with the appropriate training and skills - Adverse events are most often directly linked to physician skill and experience

New York, NY (June 27, 2006) — The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) announced today new guidelines for consumers seeking cosmetic enhancements through injectable treatments as part of an initiative to counter the alarming rise in reports of unqualified persons performing medical procedures.

With the exception of the eye, the skin is the most sensitive organ in the human body. Complications from dermal fillers could be as simple as prolonged redness at the injection site or as serious as skin death, scaring and noticeable granulomas or lumps under the skin. The incidence of adverse events, particularly those that occur shortly after the procedure, is often relative to the skill of clinician performing it. A millimeter difference of injection depth can have a significant difference on outcomes.

“Adverse events and complications can be minimized using the right technique and selecting the most appropriate patients for a given procedure,” said James Stuzin, MD, ASAPS President. “Most patients will tolerate skin fillers. We also need to make patients aware that even though injectables are not ‘surgery’ per se, their administration is a medical procedure with risks that depend on the quality of the clinician, the clinical setting and the technique used.”

The Society recommends the following guidelines for those seeking cosmetic injectable treatments:

  • Don’t choose a provider based on price. Injectables are pharmaceutical products and must be administered by trained, qualified clinicians.
     
  • Make sure the benefits and risks are fully explained to you 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Any injectable should be administered in an appropriate setting using sterile instruments. A non-physician who is appropriately licensed and trained may perform the injections under the supervision of a qualified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Malls and private homes are not medical environments and may be unsanitary.
     
  • 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. Make sure your clinician is using only FDA-approved products purchased within the United States. If he or she refuses to give you this information, seek another clinician.

The position of the Aesthetic Society is that injectable fillers are medical procedures and should be performed only by qualified clinicians in an appropriate medical setting.

Consumers can access an updated list of injectable “quick facts” at http://www.surgery.org/press/news-release.php?iid=320

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS’ active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For more information, please visit: www.surgery.org.

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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