Dangers with unqualified cosmetic injectors and illegal substances on the rise
The increased popularity of cosmetic injectable fillers has also resulted in a rise in illegal injections with dangerous substances by unlicensed or unqualified injectors, cautions the Physician’s Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS). A recent news report details a three-count indictment from an Essex County (NJ) Grand Jury charging Anivia Cruz-Dilworth, 28, of New Brunswick with practicing medicine without a license.
In March, six women appeared in the emergency rooms of Essex County area hospitals complaining of problems after having received buttocks-enhancement injections. An investigation revealed Cruz-Dilworth had injected women with what she described as hydro-gel; other news reports have stated Cruz-Dilworth was injecting bathroom caulk and sealing the women’s wounds with Krazy Glue. Several of the women sustained serious bacterial infections, requiring them to undergo surgeries.
“Disturbing stories like this tell us that there is an unsafe climate for patients looking to enhance their appearance with non-invasive procedures in the current economy. We are responding to a growing need for physicians to be properly trained to respond to adverse events,” explained Coalition Chair and plastic surgeon, John E. Gross, MD of Pasadena, CA.
Like many experienced physicians, Coalition leader Dr. Roger A. Dailey, an Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeon in Portland, OR, has treated patients who have had injections elsewhere. “Even if we’ve never encountered the complication in our own practice, we have to be ready to diagnose it and ensure the best possible treatment for patients.”
Dr. Jonathan M. Sykes, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reminds patients that any cosmetic procedure comes with risks. “Many of these products work very well for people, but should be used appropriately by qualified injectors that understand the intricacies of injectables and how to combat complications that may arise,” he adds.
State regulations on injectors vary across the nation leaving open interpretation to exactly who is qualified to inject fillers and neurotoxins. Immediate Past President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. Jeffrey S. Dover warns, “Patients need to be vigilant about having an experienced, board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon directly overseeing their injections. You can greatly minimize the chance of complications, or worse, by doing some research.”
Dr. Claudio L. Delorenzi, a Past President of the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has seen some of the worse complications through his research. “People are being roped in by extremely low prices and the illusion of security. If it was life-saving surgery, you would want the best doctor available to perform it. Always ask questions and make sure you see a doctor’s credentials before agreeing to any procedures.”
In an effort to raise patient safety standards, these Coalition leaders banded together to increase educational levels within the medical community in a multi-societal webinar on Managing Adverse Events with Injectable Fillers. This hot topic presentation was highly-attended and discussed recognizing complications, prevention and management.
The Coalition, charged with educating consumers on safe choices in cosmetic injections and eradicating the use of counterfeit and illegally imported cosmetic injectables, suggests all consumers follow these steps to ensure safe and effective treatment:
To learn more about the benefits of cosmetic injections, the uses for approved cosmetic injectables, to plan for your treatment, see video of live, appropriately administered injectables and more, visit http://www.injectablesafety.org and http://www.realself.com/injectable-safety-campaign.
The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety is an alliance of specialty physician organizations including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The mission of the Coalition is to provide the public with unbiased and necessary information on injectable cosmetic treatments, appropriate injectors and where to safely access cosmetic medical procedures. Our goal is to promote treatment supervised by properly qualified and trained, board-certified doctors and to promote only the use of U.S. FDA-approved, appropriately administered product. More information can be found at http://www.injectablesafety.org.