The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) has announced that many consumers are still unaware of the risks associated with aesthetic procedures performed by unlicensed practitioners.

Reports from Las Vegas and Philadelphia document unsuspecting patients suffering from pain and disfigurement and in the two cases, death, when women had their buttocks injected with unknown substances. Injectable fillers to enhance the bust, hips, buttocks or face are frequently administered in non‑clinical settings by amateur or unlicensed practitioners. Unsuspecting patients have been injected with materials such as silicone, baby oil, and those with no safety or efficacy record.

‘We desperately need more consumer education on this topic … Patients may be lured in by inexpensive prices and unrealistic claims. Patients think they are getting a bargain, but they are actually putting their health and lives at risk and they may not even know it,’ said Felmont F. Eaves, III, President of the Aesthetic Society.

Patients can make safe choices when seeking cosmetic procedures by selecting qualified physicians who perform or oversee procedures in appropriate settings.

In most cases, cosmetic procedures offered in non‑medical settings, such as homes, hotels and beauty salons are not performed by qualified individuals and may involve the use of illegal or unknown substances. Patients should never choose a doctor solely on the basis of lower cost.

‘We hear very sad and frustrating stories of patients being taken advantage of by phony doctors and illegal procedures.  Patients are being scammed and exposed to great harm,’ said Dr Eaves.