Reports have emerged of a jewellery store in Springvale, Melbourne performing beauty treatments including cosmetic injectables at the back of their store with cockroaches running over the medical equipment. The operator has been charged with a number of breaches of the law, including a lack of qualifications, poor hygiene standards and possible fraudulent products being injected into patients. The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) have issued a warning to patients not to put themselves in dangerous situations with corrupt operators.
Apparently, Department of Health officers were shocked at the conditions in which the treatments were being performed. The person performing the procedures, which included anti-wrinkle injections and fillers, was also found to have no qualifications, extremely questionable training and using what could turn out to be non-approved products on their patients.
Dr Naveen Somia, President of ASAPS, says the story is disturbing on so many levels. “The complete disregard for the rules and the risk to patient safety are frightening. What the story highlights are when doctors and nurses fail to play by the rules, patients get hurt.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve heard about dodgy operators in the rapidly growing aesthetics industry. ASAPS and other industry bodies have been urging the Federal and State Governments for years to address the fact that laws around who can perform invasive medical treatments are way too relaxed, and enforcement of any regulations in place is inadequate.
Dr Somia says he understands the lure of cheaper treatments to patients, but unfortunately many people just don’t understand the risks they are placing on themselves. “Cosmetic injectable treatments being performed by someone without adequate training or in an appropriate clinical setting can have disastrous outcomes. Risks include skin necrosis, blindness, facial paralysis, and this is all on top of just being disappointed with the results.”
We also can’t forget that one of those side effects can be death, as we saw in the case of Janet Huang who lost her life a couple of years ago. Patients should also be aware that most injectables for non-surgical rejuvenation require a script, and clinics where they are carried out should have a doctor on site in case they need to deal with complications. While the doctor doesn’t necessarily have to perform the treatments – in fact, many doctors are not always the ones trained in performing the actual aesthetic treatments – it is essential that practitioners have the proper training in the particular procedures they are performing to minimise these risks.
Fortunately, in this particular case, authorities were alerted before there were any adverse outcomes, but it’s a reminder that non-surgical treatments are considered medical procedures, and should be performed by fully qualified and experienced practitioners in facilities.
To learn more about what to look for when choosing a practitioner go here.