14 December Choosing an experienced doctor
Proof that choosing an experienced doctor who is fully immersed in aesthetics medicine is so important.
The independent accreditation body Save Face has published a report for 2017-2018 showing that it received 939 total patient complaints and concerns; 934 of which related to unregistered practitioners.
As a Save Face-recommended clinic (we were one of the first to be accredited 5 years ago) we know how important it is for us to work full time in medical aesthetics, as it gives us the deep and broad experience to treat a wide range of conditions, and – very importantly – know how to tackle issues before they become a concern. This is not a sideline for us, it is the full focus of our practice and we are fully immersed in every nuance of the treatments we provide, so much so that we teach other doctors to achieve exemplary results and avoid any potential pitfall.
In the Save Face audit, dermal filler treatments accounted for the highest number of complaints at 616, and the lips were the highest affected area at 72%. The most prevalent complication was swelling and bruising, which had 213 patient complaints, while 156 had lumps and nodules and six reported vascular occlusion or impending necrosis.
The application of Botulinum toxin generated in 224 complications. The most reported complication was swelling and bruising at 86, whilst 57 saw asymmetrical results, 38 saw no result, 23 noted drooping of the eyelid/eyebrow, 16 people felt they looked ‘too frozen’ and the least common, with just four, was blurred vision.
The report also revealed that 76% did not know Botulinum toxin was a prescription-only medicine.
Alarmingly it indicated that 11% of treatments took place at a ‘Botox’ party, 68% did not have a face-to-face consultation with a prescriber and 37% didn’t know the qualifications of their practitioner!
Amongst other reported complaints were laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments (42), thread lifts (26), chemical peels (11), Dermaroller treatment (8) and plasma procedures (7).
When reporting the complications and seeking treatment, the Save Face report showed that 226 people were ignored by the person who had treated them, 387 had corrective procedures by other practitioners, 27 went to their GP and 11 went to accident and emergency.
The report concluded that outcomes from the last year resulted in one landmark conviction (resulting in imprisonment), 94 refunds, 27 insurance claims, and 19 legal cases.
Ask the right questions
This all underlines the immense importance of doing your homeworking and finding out about the person treating you. Are they a doctor or work in a medically-led practice? Do they have medical qualifications? Do they have additional training to carry out the procedure you are interested in?
It is so, so important to ask the questions and for proof of their certification. Anyone with the right registration, qualifications, and training will be happy and proud to share it with you. Please do so as your health and your safety are too important to let just anyone treat you.