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.

Dr. Ivan Santos, plastic surgery

Dr. Ivan Santos

Dr. Ivan Santos, (right)

Spent time in the operating room at Shaio watching Dr. Ivan Santos operate this morning.  Operating rooms are large, clean, well-lit and all equipment is modern and fully functional.

Dr. Santos operates with a second surgeon assisting, Dr. Rudolfo Reyes.  Today’s case which was a combination of body and facial procedures was performed under a combination of local and conscious sedation.  Patient appeared comfortable during the procedure and all standardized intra-operative protocols were followed.  Sterility was maintained throughout the case.  (No intra-operative photos taken with patient in view – for privacy concerns.)

The particular case was more complex that average – patient was undergoing a revision after previous surgery several years ago (with another surgeon).  Dr. Santos was meticulous in attention to detail, calm and pleasant in demeanor, and aggressive in surgical management.  He has a good rapport with his OR team, who were able to anticipate his needs.

Going back on Monday for another case.

Note: Be careful when searching the internet for doctor information – there is a lot of disinformation out there (which is why I am writing a book).  Currently there is a doctor impersonating Dr. Ivan Santos – if you do a search for Dr. Santos – this doctor comes up, claiming to be in practice with him.  Please be careful everyone!)

More about Dr. Ivan Santos:

Back in the OR with Ivan Santos

Bogota’s celebrity surgeons

Bogota’s Hottest Surgeons

Dr. Ivan Santos and Clinica Shaio