Consumer Safety Alert on Cosmetic Injectable Complications

New York, NY -- October 1, 2007. The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety today issued a consumer warning about complications arising from cosmetic injectable treatments offered in non-medical settings, by unqualified providers, and also warned about the use of substances that may be imported, unidentifiable and illegal.

A recent survey* of Coalition member physicians reveals the following related to complications seen from cosmetic injectables:

  • 45% report complications seen resulting from an injectable administered by an unqualified provider
  • 35% report complications seen resulting from an injectable administered in a non-medical setting
  • 32% report complications seen resulting from an unknown substance
  • 14.5% report a patient would not disclose the origin of treatment after suffering a complication

"FDA approved cosmetic injectables have a very safe track record with predictable outcomes in treating aging conditions of the face," says Coalition leader Ira D. Papel, MD, associate professor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. "Complications are on the rise because the casual attitude and easy access to these treatments has taken them out of the medical office, put them in the hands of unqualified providers or non-physicians, as well as put black market and non-approved injectables on the market."

FDA approved cosmetic injectables are popular and growing with good reason: they offer safe, non-surgical means to improve facial appearance. The Coalition offers consumers these very simple questions to ask before considering any cosmetic injectable procedure:

  • Doctor: Is this treatment being recommended by a qualified doctor who regularly treats similar conditions, in an appropriately licensed and equipped medical facility?
  • Brand: Is the injectable recommended approved by the U.S. FDA for cosmetic indications and is it appropriately labeled and packaged to reflect its authenticity and approval?
  • Safety: Have the proper procedures been followed? The physician has evaluated conditions, recommended treatment, offered alternatives and clearly defined the potential outcomes including any complications.

"Patients bear some responsibility for their own safety by making educated choices," adds Dr. Papel.

To learn specifics about the FDA approved brands of cosmetic injectables and their benefits, the qualification of appropriate injectors and physicians, or to see video of live appropriately administered injectables, visit http://www.injectablesafety.org.

*Survey conducted in June/July 2007 represents physicians who are members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, with a +/- 3.5% margin of error and a 95% level of confidence.

About Us
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.

About ASAPS
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.

About AAFPRS
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.

About ASOPRS
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 oculofacial plastic surgery (currently two years), and perform aesthetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery of the face, orbits, eyelids, and lacrimal system.

Manager of Media Relations Adeena Babbit

Contact email: media@surgery.org
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fax: 212.921.0011

Please Credit the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.