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Warning to patients about cheap or discounted non-surgical procedures

Posted on Monday, 25 June 2018

Immediate Past President of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and now the Scientific Convenor of the Non-Surgical Symposium (NSS), Dr Tim Papadopoulos has sent a warning to patients looking for cheaper options when it comes to non-surgical procedures.  The warning comes in light of the experience of Sunshine Coast mother-of-five Stacey Buttriss who now won’t leave the house without sunglasses after a non-surgical cosmetic eye lift went wrong.

“Unfortunately the adage is true, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is”, said Dr Papadopoulos.

Ms Buttriss who had plasma treatment for saggy, hooded eyelids was left with permanent spotty scarring.  The procedure was performed in a home business by someone who was being trained under supervision.  Ms Buttriss said before it started, the trainee put numbing cream on her eyelids and did dry tattooing.  The advertised procedure claims to use a person’s plasma to stimulate an instant contraction and tightening of the skin fibres.

However, Ms Buttriss now has unsightly spots and indentations on her upper eyelids, which makeup cannot cover and is seeking the services of a Plastic Surgeon to help reverse the damage.

“This is a story we hear all too often.  People are lured in by the sales tactics of marketers, but the quality of the outcome produced by someone who is performing procedures way outside their training and expertise can leave people badly bruised, burned or in Ms Buttriss’ case disfigured.

“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.

“It was this very reason, to hold the industry to a higher standard, that we established the NSS.  Attendees tell us, it is the only forum of its kind where you can hear from global thinkers who are performing cutting-edge procedures, or refining tried and tested procedures, all with patient safety at the forefront.  Needless to say, the event is a sell-out year on year,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

Dr Papadopoulos said it’s sad that cases like Ms Buttriss continue to exist when ASAPS has been petitioning Governments at all levels to tighten regulations to improve patient safety for many years.

“The regulation around advertising of medical procedures is black and white.  However, the enforcement of the Guidelines is a bit of a hit and miss.  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.  Yet, there are people with limited training and qualifications that are performing procedures and causing real harm to patients.

“While we certainly welcome the announcement made by the NSW and Victorian Governments in recent times about their review of cosmetic procedures it seems that on a national level that we are still behind the eight-ball and struggling to keep up,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

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Media contact: Julia Power, National PR and Marketing Manager, 0414 276 990

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