More regulation is needed in the fast growing aesthetic industry an Albury doctor says as Australia’s first case of a dermal or anti-wrinkle filler causing blindness was confirmed in Sydney.
Seventh Layer Aesthetic Clinic’s Dr Tan Woo said blindness as a complication was extremely rare with only about 100 cases internationally.
But, he said, there were always risks associated with any procedure which was why it was important injectors were well trained.
“Obviously in the industry there is so many new injectors at the moment you want to know they’re properly trained,” he said.
“Make sure your injector is experienced before you proceed, ask about the treatments they’ve done and ask for pre and post photos.”
Currently injectors can be simply trained by product manufacturers, but a NSW Department of Health review of regulations around cosmetic procedures suggested the government could limit who performed procedures.
The April report said the exact regulatory rules would be subject to consultation with stakeholders, which is ongoing currently, but could also include only allowing the required medicine to be used when a medical practitioner was on the premise.
Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ president Naveen Somia said the organisation was alarmed about the ‘rise in cosmetic complications over the last few years that have destroyed patient lives’.
He said false and misleading advertising was putting patients in the hands of under-qualified and unscrupulous providers.
“ASAPS is concerned if drastic action is not taken by the regulators and government urgently, this trend of dangerous complications and devastated lives will continue following cosmetic surgery,” he said.
“The lack of high safety standards that are tightly regulated allows unscrupulous practitioners to employ under-qualified people to perform invasive cosmetic procedures on patients where the focus is on profits, not patient safety.”
Dr Somia said national regulations were needed that were evenly-enforced.
He said there needs to be repercussions in place that deter people from acting dangerously or unethically.
Dr Woo agreed the growing industry needed more regulation, but said he didn’t know what that regulation should look like.
“I think something does have to be done, but I’m not sure the best solution,” he said.
“Any change would affect a lot of people, it would affect the whole industry, the main thing to consider is out-patient safety.”
Dr Tan said the procedures’ popularity was increasing with the clinic serving people, mainly females, from 18 to over 70.
“It’s getting more socially acceptable which is why more people are seeking treatment and why more regulation is needed because a lot of people perceive it as a face treatment when it is in fact not,” he said.
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