Safety and injectables

While we have discussed plastic surgery safety here at Cartagena Surgery several times, (you can read more here, here and here), it’s time to talk about “less-invasive” and “mini-surgery” techniques such as Botox.

It seems like everyone is offering injectables these days.  In many countries, including the United States – these treatments are offered in multiple places outside the plastic surgeons’ office by a multitude of practitioners including non-specialty physicians, nurses* and high-end salons.  Do you really think that your dentist should be giving you Botox?  Or your hair salon?

These treatments including Botox (botulism toxin), Restylane, juvaderm and other dermal fillers are often used as ‘refresh’ and rejuvenate the face without surgery.  Fillers are used for lip plumping and filling out fine lines and wrinkles. (Note: Botox is also used for several other ‘off-label’ uses.)

However, I’d like to remind everyone to use caution when choosing to use these products.  While less radical than surgery – these treatments are medications and need to be used cautiously (just like any other medical or surgical treatment).   Botox, in particular, when used incorrectly has been linked to several deaths.  Unlicensed practitioners have also been caught using unapproved substances such as construction grade silicone – leading to serious health consequences (this is what happened to Priscilla Presley about fifteen years ago).

The other thing we should talk about beside potential health complications, is the reason injectable and non-surgical treatments are such popular options.  We all want to look good – so shouldn’t you see a specialty trained professional?  When seeking cosmetic results – the results should be cosmetically pleasing – by someone with the experience to perform this properly, not an eye doctor, a dentist or beautician.  A board certified plastic surgeon is the best option to ensure that a person has the best results – without looking artificial or ‘frozen.”  It may cost more (but not always), but aren’t natural, pleasing  and safe results worth it?

* For example, as a licensed nurse practitioner – for a 200.00 fee and a one day course, I could (but am not) be ‘certified’ to give Botox and other injectable.  It doesn’t matter whether I have previous experience in plastic surgery, acute care, neonatal, family medicine or even if I have experience giving injections.  Other nurses, doctors, and paraprofessional personnel are eligible to take this and similar ‘short-course’ training seminars for injectable, laser treatments and other ‘minor’ plastic surgery procedures.

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