The Furore over Fillers! What all the fuss is about...

Posted on the 13 February 2012 at 11:33

Speculation over the safety of cosmetic fillers has transpired in the midst of the recent explosion over faulty PIP breast implants. With the Health Secretary trying to tackle the fears of 40,000 women affected by this catastrophe, questions are now being presented about other areas of cosmetic beauty including anti-ageing fillers, and how safe they are. 

With attention being directed to the fact that anti-ageing fillers are injected into thousands of patients each year by non-medical practitioners with no qualifications, and some clinics even offering same-day treatments of permanent facial fillers without any warning about potential dangers – an increasingly strong case is building in support of the importance of going to a qualified and experienced cosmetic practitioner in order to avoid dangerous complications following treatment– complications should be greatly reduced when a patient is given the correct professional care.

It’s important to recognise that filler treatments are best practiced by a qualified cosmetic doctor and of course one that carries out the treatment regularly is the best, most-practised person for the job. The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) is specifically geared towards protecting consumers and legitimate practitioners in the cosmetic aesthetic field. It may sound like common sense, but patients should ensure they are treated by a GMC-registered doctor. There are also plenty of good and well trained nurses administering fillers, and The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) is a dependable source dedicated to raising the standard and competency of aesthetic practice. It’s really the non-medics that patients need to avoid, and aided by us to increase understanding about fillers (both permanent, which are of course more dangerous than non-reversible and temporary) being a medical device and there being so many CE mark approved for UK sale.
There are many products on the market to choose from when it comes to picking the filler itself but it’s advisable to choose FDA approved fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm because more clinical data was required for approval of these than the European in terms of long term safety and efficacy, so there is less chance of adverse reaction in patients. Although it is very important to acknowledge here that an experienced and skilled practitioner is a key factor in safe treatment. I personally never use permanent fillers, and highly recommend that patients try to avoid them as complications can be more difficult to correct with these.  I believe that patients should always consult with the practitioner who is actually going to carry out their treatment, essentially I review a patient’s full medical history to avoid medical complications and I also make a point of showing them the product in the box before treatment.

Dr Rita Rakus - Before and After Lip treatment with Juvederm

Juvederm Before & After – Images courtesy of Dr Rakus

The good news is, fillers are very advanced these days and can include numbing agents for a more comfortable treatment, and they’re smoother and more fluid than ever before, so lumps are now less likely and your overall result can be as subtle as you want. Filler injections are a medically recognised treatment which of course can have medical complications if administered incorrectly, like any other medical treatment, fillers are readily available and thousands of women choose to have injectable fillers as part of their beauty regime; the reality is that very, very few will have an adverse effect or allergic reaction. The end result is ultimately, all down to picking the right practitioner in the first instance. You get what you pay for.

[Note: Dr Rakus only uses biodegradable, natural fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane]

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Blog Comment(s) [1]

According to the statement issued by the BACN last month, nurses make up over 70% of injectors in the UK and were the first to introduce fillers to the UK market. I think many Nurse Prescribers would be dis-heartened to read that the author of this article sees us as second choice for injectable treatments.
I also refer to the article written by Yvonne Senior RGN where she responds to the Times Newspaper article - "I find it sad that once more a member of the medical fraternity is using this complex issue to close ranks and confine the speciality to a very small group of doctors".
What a pity that such a serious issue is being used as a promotion of one group of practitioners over another rather than focusing on the job in hand, namely patient safety in our industry.

S Harris BACN member