NEW YEAR. NEW YOU! (but please be thoughtful about it)
For this month’s newsletter, I want to focus on patient safety. Patient safety has always will be a core value of the Institute. Not sure if news outlets have covered this, but the FDA recently assembled a worksheet for plastic surgery practices and med spas. I link to it here, because it’s really useful and informative. The worksheet is called “Check Before You Inject”(click to view). This campaign is designed to protect consumers against unqualified and unlicensed providers who may or may not be using FDA-approved substances. Many of the injectables that are used in the US are not made in the US or cleared by the FDA, even though they look, sound, and resemble FDA-approved substances.
You can review the list here: http://www.fda.gov/dermalfillers
The lack of oversight of sale and injection of these substances can amount to complications that are not well understood by qualified and licensed healthcare providers. A complete list of FDA approved fillers is available online. In addition, the FDA has made it VERY clear that injectable silicone for large scale body contouring is not only a bad idea, but it is unlawful, unethical, and ultimately unsafe. All educated patients should understand the risks of seeking treatment by an unqualified or unlicensed healthcare provider.
You can search for your physician (M.D., D.O.), nurse (R.N. or N.P.), or P.A. using the link below: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Breeze/License_Verification.aspx
In the state of California, there is a law that states that medical supervision must be available when a nurse or physician assistant is injecting fillers and Botox. Licensed healthcare providers can include medical doctors, or their delegate physicians assistants (P.A.s), registered nurses (R.N.s or N.P.s), or nurse practitioners. No other providers, even if they call themselves “nurse”, are legally authorized to perform these injections. Your job is a patient is to pay attention to the surroundings and make sure that you do your homework prior to your injections.
I fully believe that many nurses are as good or better than their supervising physicians. I probably would not be able to tell which patients Nurse Miki injected and which patients I injected. However, not all nurses are qualified and it is incumbent upon you, the patient, to ensure that you are in safe hands. Never assume that your nurse is licensed, or for that matter, that your doctor is. Ask where the supervising physician is. If something seems off, it is your right and responsibility to bring this to the doctor’s attention.
I love this campaign. Such a step in the right direction. Cheers, FDA, for putting this together. I cannot reiterate enough the importance of “checking before you inject”. I am so excited for 2019 and felt compelled to start the year off right with this important public safety announcement. At the Zelken Institute, we love fillers and injectables. Nurse Miki and myself perform injectable treatments on up to 10 patients a day. We believe treatments like Botox and fillers are excellent standalone procedure; also they can help take a surgical result to the next level. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to bring them to our attention. We will take your concerns seriously and ensure that you are taken care of. Thanks for taking the time to read this message and have an amazing new year.