Patients Seeking Cosmetic Injectables Should Weigh Training and Qualifications Over Convenience

New York, NY, September 10, 2007 – A new survey, conducted by Columbus, Ohio based Industry Insights on behalf of the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, demonstrates that when it comes to cosmetic injectable treatments, consumers who visit a plastic, facial plastic or ophthalmic plastic surgeon are more likely to have their procedure performed by a highly trained and qualified doctor rather than a physician’s assistant (PA), registered nurse (RN), or licensed nurse practitioner (LPN) where permitted by law.

As evidenced by the data, the vast majority of plastic, facial plastic or ophthalmic plastic surgeons –94.6% of those surveyed personally perform cosmetic injections on patients. This suggests the acceptance by the cosmetic surgical specialties of the value of injectables as a contemporary, proven cosmetic treatment. Plastic surgeons are trained in a range of cosmetic treatments and tend to see cosmetic injectables as tools to use before a patient needs plastic surgery and/or to enhance the results of surgical procedures. “Many patients want to start the rejuvenation process early, or want to put a toe in the water with injectables before deciding that surgery is an option,” says Roger A. Dailey, MD, Coalition spokesperson and Chief of Ophthalmic Facial Plastic Surgery at Oregon Health and Science University. “The choice between an injectable or surgery should be decided by the surgeon and patient together, based on what can safely, realistically and most positively be achieved for the patient and her or his goals and anatomy.”

With proper education on safety protocols, questions to ask, and risk/benefit information, consumers can feel empowered to let a doctor know their comfort level with injectable treatments and plastic surgery and select a procedure that can both accomplish one’s goals and meet one’s personal preferences for treatment. Consumers should feel confident in telling a physician, “I want to try cosmetic injectables first to see if I can achieve the look I want; I’ll consider plastic surgery should injectables not wholly achieve the restoration of youth I desire.”

Consumers should be aware of the following basic tips for choosing a cosmetic injector whether that injector is a physician or a physician extender, such as physician’s assistant (PA), registered nurse (RN), or licensed nurse practitioner (LPN) where permitted by law. Complete tips and educational materials are available at www.injectablesafety.org:

1. How to choose a qualified doctor/provider of cosmetic injectables.
What defines board certification of injectors?
There is no recognized medical board that specifically defines injectors. Certification by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties refers to a doctor who has taken an accredited residency and fellowship in a defined medical specialty, and has been tested through written and oral exams for competency in that specialty. The following Boards are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties:

  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Otolaryngology (Facial Plastic Surgery)
  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • American Board of Dermatology
  • Is it safe for nurses to perform injectable treatments?
    A licensed Registered Nurse (RN) or a licensed Physician’s Assistant (PA) can be an appropriate provider of injectables depending on your state’s regulations. The following conditions should be met:

  • The nurse or PA is under the supervision of a qualified doctor who has prescribed the injectable treatment appropriate for you.
  • The nurse or PA can demonstrate appropriate medical education and training specific to the delivery of injectable beauty treatments.
  • The nurse or PA follows all of the appropriate steps in performing your injections, including informed consent about the risks and benefits of the injection process.
  • You have the option to request the doctor perform your injections.
  • Are injectables safe?
    When injected by a properly qualified and trained clinician in an appropriate medical setting, U.S. FDA-approved injectable treatments are safe.

    2. Information to know before any cosmetic injectable treatment, such as:

  • Recognize that injectables are medical treatments and belong in the hands of a qualified doctor.
  • Choose only U.S. FDA-approved injectables for a use that is specifically cosmetic and an application that is similar to your condition.
  • Accept that there is no such thing as a “generic” or “substitute brand” for U.S. FDA-approved injectables.
  • Do not accept bargain prices or deep discounts, as you may not be getting a U.S. FDA-approved injectable or an appropriate dosage.
  • Do not accept treatment at a party, public gathering, spa, salon or other non-medical setting.
  • Do not act on impulse when you choose injectables. Follow proper procedure by learning about your doctor and the treatment you will have.
  • Understand that fat injections require a two-step surgical process; first your fat is extracted and processed, then it is reinjected into appropriate regions.
  • The independent study conducted by Industry Insights of Columbus, Ohio, surveyed physicians from 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 together comprising over 5,700 physicians in the United States. The survey data has a standard error of +/- 3.14 percent at a 95 percent 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 Group 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.

    Information, tips for consumers, and statistics on injectable therapies and the Coalition can be found at 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 oculoplastic surgery (currently two years), and perform aesthetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery of the face, orbits, eyelids, and lacrimal system.