Another warning has been sent to patients reminding them of the dangers of choosing the cheaper options when it comes to non-surgical procedures after another patient is left disfigured from a botched non-surgical procedure. The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and Dr Tim Papadopoulos, Scientific Convenor of the Non-Surgical Symposium (NSS) have released a statement advising patients that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

The latest victim to failed cheap non-surgical procedures is Stacey Buttriss, mother of five from the Sunshine Coast, who wanted to get rid of her drooping, hooded eyelids but instead has been left with permanent scarring. The incident was performed in a home business by a trainee and left Ms Buttriss with unsightly marks and indentations on her upper eyelids. She is now trying to find a fully qualified plastic surgeon to help her repair the disfigurement.

Safety in the non-surgical industry has been a massive concern for plastic surgeons, fully qualified practitioners and consumers for the last few years. In an industry where the growth and technology is growing at a rate where the governments and associated regulations can’t keep up, patients have been the guinea pigs for untrained and unqualified practitioners looking to cash in on a booming industry.

Unfortunately, it puts another negative light on an extremely progressive and innovative industry which was highlighted and celebrated at the recent Non-Surgical Symposium, Australia’s most popular and most-attended aesthetics event. This event is a gathering of global leaders sharing their expertise and knowledge all with a focus on patient safety. The majority of attendees at this conference are just as frustrated with the dodgy back yard operators as anyone. Dr Papadopolous says in the ASAPS media release, “Our recent NSS is the premier event in Australasia for practitioners operating in the non-surgical space to come and learn from the world’s leading experts about the latest tools and techniques all on the premise of ensuring patient safety and better outcomes. This year we had 16 keynote speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise, giving us a truly global perspective on cosmetic procedures.

“In fact, it was this very reason, to hold the industry to a higher standard, that the NSS was established.”

ASAPS have been pushing Governments to improve industry regulation for a number of years now and they are frustrated and sad that cases such as Ms Buttriss still exist. Dr Papadopoulos says it’s the enforcement of the guidelines that is hit and miss. He goes on to say in the release, “In my opinion, the focus seems to be misplaced with a recent spate of letters from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) cracking down on testimonials on surgeon’s Facebook pages and yet there are people with either a basic medical degree or medical qualifications not recognised in Australia that are out there performing procedures causing real harm to patients.”

We always say #choosewisely. It’s not the plastic surgeons, established clinics and practitioners who ensure their training is up to date that need to be reigned in, it’s the dodgy backyard or home operators without any qualifications or relevant experience, wanting to cash in on the booming aesthetical industry with less or no focus or interest in patient safety.

Regardless, patients really need to be vigilant and smart when it comes to choosing their practitioner to perform any non-surgical procedure. Know your practitioners training, experience, qualifications and ask yourself if it’s worth risking your health, permanent scarring and in a few rare cases your life, for the sake of saving a few dollars?


Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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