Recent "Pumping Party" Bust A Safety Reminder
Coalition warns patients about illegal injections and injectors
July 1, 2008 - The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety (http://www.injectablesafety.org) today cautions consumers worldwide on the dangers of accepting any cosmetic injection or procedure from a non-licensed facility, or non-medically licensed and properly trained individual. A recent bust in Miami-Dade, Florida demonstrates cosmetic injections and the individuals administering them may not be legal. As reported by the Miami Herald, a "pumping party" was set up in a hotel room and offered to inject an unidentified substance into women's backsides for "buttocks enhancement," from an injector who did not have a medical license. Alternate locations for and illegal forms of cosmetic injections are occurring in cities across the country. The danger of these types of events ranges from an unsatisfactory outcome, to infection, serious disfigurement and potentially death.
"The goal of the Coalition is to eradicate unsafe and illegal practices like those that occurred in Miami," says Renato Saltz, MD, Salt Lake City, UT, a Coalition Leader and president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "In qualified hands and within a proper medical setting, cosmetic injectables are very safe. Anyone who is considering going to a party, bar or spa to receive injectables, whether to save a little money or to add fun to the injection experience must know it is certainly not worth the risk." The Coalition reminds consumers cosmetic injections should only be accepted in a licensed medical office; a bar, hotel room, cruise ship or spa is not a place to receive cosmetic injections. In addition, patients must verify a physician's credentials and experience with cosmetic injections as well as asking specifically about the authenticity, brand name and approval status of the injectable being recommended.
Two recently passed bills in Florida offer initial steps to protect the consumer from illegal and illicit practices. The TIME (Truth in Medical Education) bill requires all medical personnel to identify their profession (i.e. nurse, MD, aesthetician, etc.), training and accreditation. The Pedigree bill links all purchases of injectables to a physician's license. "Florida has enacted legislation like the TIME and Pedigree bills in an attempt to protect consumers. But as we know, laws are often broken, and even with laws in place, people must be concerned and take charge of their own safety," says Victoria Vitale-Lewis, MD, Melbourne, Florida, president of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Patients need to ask questions, and have the right to direct and honest answers. You must be 100 percent sure of all the facts when receiving a cosmetic injectable, not only for your appearance, but also for your own well-being."
The Coalition offers consumers these very simple questions to ask before considering any cosmetic injectable procedure:
- Doctor: Is the injectable recommended by a qualified doctor who regularly treats similar conditions, in an appropriately licensed and equipped medical facility? Has the doctor examined the prospective patient before recommending treatment?
- Brand: Is the injectable recommended approved by the U.S. FDA, in the U.S., and by equivalent agencies in the country of origin, for cosmetic indications and is it appropriately labeled and packaged to reflect its authenticity and approval?
- Safety: Is the setting a proper medically-equipped office, with safety and sterilization procedures? Has the physician evaluated conditions, recommended treatment, offered alternatives and clearly defined the potential outcomes including any complications?
To learn specifically the FDA approved brands of cosmetic injectables and their benefits, and to see video of live, appropriately administered injectables as well as real patient stories from injectable parties 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, and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive 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.
The 2400-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), founded in 1967, is the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. With 2,100 members in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries, ASAPS is at the forefront of innovation in aesthetic plastic surgery around the world.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world's largest specialty association that represents over 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck.
The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery represent surgeons qualified in plastic surgery of the eyelids and surrounding facial structures. Fellows of the Society are board certified in ophthalmology, have completed fellowships in ocular surgery (currently two years), and perform aesthetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery of the face, orbits, eyelids, and lacrimal system.