The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS), the nation’s peak professional body for cosmetic medicine and surgery, has warned consumers that “walk-in-walk-out cosmetic procedures” carry risks such as permanent blindness.

ACCS president Dr Irene Kushelew said nearly 200 cases of accidental blindness have now been reported globally from botched filler procedures – this is almost double the 98 cases that had been reported last August.

“Many Australians incorrectly believe that procedures involving dermal fillers are beauty treatments, in the same category as facials, but cosmetic procedures are medical procedures that carry risks,” she said.

“As such, you want to be in the hands of a qualified medical practitioner in the event of any complications.”

According to Dr Kushelew, cosmetic treatment protocols, practitioners’ skills and training varies across clinics “and not all are up to Australian standards”.

She said that alhough Australians are legally required to consult with a licenced doctor prior to any treatment with a cosmetic injectable, “reports of botched procedures and the use of imported, illegal products are on the rise” across the country.

“More and more injectors’ qualifications, experience and products are questionable.

“For these procedures, the should make sure you are in the hands of an experienced practitioner using Australian standard product.

“The public needs protection from untrained, inexperienced, ‘occasional’ practitioners offering cosmetic procedures who do not understand the high-risk areas of the face.

“Many practitioners undergo a one or two-day training course only for cosmetic injectables ‒this is simply not adequate.

“When these procedures go wrong as a result of an inexperienced practitioner, it also places an unnecessary burden on the Australian health system,” she said.

More shockingly, Dr Kushelew said the ACCS was even aware of new trend of “women taking their appearance into their own hands and injecting their own dermal filler”.

“This is, quite frankly, terrifying,” she said.

Established in 1999, the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery is a not-for-profit body of cosmetic surgeons, cosmetic physicians, plastic surgeons, general surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, ear nose and throat surgeons, ophthalmologists and other doctors and health care practitioners who practice in cosmetic medicine and surgery.

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