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PCIS Urges Caution with Injectables


Following an internationally publicized death after the use of the injectable PMMA, the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety urges caution when seeking out the injection of fillers.

Women and men seeking a buttocks boost may be tempted to turn to injectables to provide the lift they are looking for; however, the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS) urges caution. Evidence suggests that there has been disfigurement, injury and even death as a result of the improper injection of large-volume, body enhancing chemicals.

Many people have read about these buttocks injections online, or have discovered non-U.S. based doctors who promise great results for a low fee. Injections aren't limited to the buttocks either; some providers are using permanent fillers including silicone, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polyacrylimide to augment the breasts and the hips as well.

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These practices often occur outside of the United States, in a practice called surgical tourism, where people travel to countries with less-stringent standards to get cheaper procedures or procedures unavailable in the U.S. However, there are also unscrupulous, unlicensed, non-medical providers within U.S. borders who offer these services to unsuspecting women.

The PCIS has issued a warning about the improper use of these injectables. The Coalition cautions consumers that there are no pharmaceutical fillers approved by the FDA for large volume injections into the buttocks, breasts or hips.

The recent death of former Miss Argentina Solange Magnano caused by a buttocks augmentation using injectable fillers illustrates just how dire the consequences of ignoring this warning can be. Dr. Joao Carlos Sampaio Goes, a Brazilian Plastic Surgeon and the former president of the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, reminds consumers that the death caused by this buttock injection was "not a result of plastic surgery," but was instead "the result of a dangerous practice with fillers that are not intended to be used in this way."

This distinction is important for people considering plastic surgery, as there are some approved fillers and some approved procedures for augmenting the buttocks. For example, autologous fat (fat from your own body) and gluteal implants are both accepted and time-tested procedures for buttocks augmentation. Furthermore, Artefill is a PMMA based injectable filler that is used on limited areas of the face to treat folds and used off label to reconstruct the nipple post-mastectomy. These injectables and procedures, when used properly by a licensed, board certified plastic surgeon, are distinct from the types of injectables that are improperly and dangerously used to augment the buttocks and these procedures can be relatively safe and effective.

In fact, as Board Certified Salt Lake plastic surgeon Dr. Renato Saltz states, "any cosmetic injection or procedure can be immensely rewarding when performed with proven techniques, by a qualified, board certified physician with approved drugs, devices, or one's own fat and in a safe and accredited setting." Therefore, men and women who are interested in augmenting their buttocks or otherwise improving their appearance simply need to be cautious about the types of procedures performed and the surgeon performing it; they needn't give up on their dreams of better buttocks altogether.

PCIS has provided simple advice along with their warning about unsafe injectables for consumers considering cosmetic procedures. The Coalition suggests that you ask your doctor, or the person who is suggesting an injection, for their qualifications. Although some nurses can perform injections, a doctor should prescribe the treatment and you should maintain an on-going positive relationship with your physician that involves necessary follow-up care.

The Coalition also recommends doing your due diligence by asking about the brand name of the injectable before a provider uses it on you, and then making sure the treatment is approved by the FDA. You can also ask to see the package of the injectsble, along with any identifying logos, brands or serial numbers, so you can do your own independent research to determine if the FDA has approved the material. Online websites, such as www.injectablesafety.org/html/ataglance.php., can help with this research.

Finally, the Coalition warns that if you don't feel comfortable with your provider, the injectable, or anything about the process, that you do not participate. Ultimately, it is up to you to ensure that you make a safe choice. Attempting to save money or improve your appearance with unproven and unsafe techniques is not worth the cost to your health, or the possible loss of your life.