Ugly side to beauty quest
A WOMAN has been left with a “horn” on her forehead and another had her face eaten by bacteria in the latest bungles in the booming cosmetic industry.
New Macquarie University research has linked cosmetic filler procedures to serious and chronic infections that take years to control and leave victims disfigured.
One patient now requires surgery in which her face will be cut from ear to ear and her forehead peeled back to remove filler that has left her face misshapen.
Another has been on antibiotics for more than a year and endured four surgeries, costing $25,000, to drain infection and rebuild her face.
Doctors are warning poor procedures can lead to chronic infection, cell death, blindness, loss of sensation and the inability to smile or clean teeth.
Jean Huang died in Sydney last month during a procedure to inject fillers into her breasts.
Macquarie University plastic surgeon Professor Anand Deva, whose research has linked cosmetic fillers to serious bacterial infection, accuses the cosmetic industry of pursuing profits at the ex- pense of patient safety.
He wants a patient reg- ister to keep track of the fil- lers used and the doctorss who carry out the proce- dures.
“We are facing a perfectt storm in the cosmetic industry where demand is insatiable, driven by social media and celebrities, and it is being met by completely unregulated providers,” Prof Deva said.
Australians are now spending more than $1 billion a year on cosmetic procedures.
Prof Deva’s research tested the cosmetic fillers hyaluronic acid, polyacrylamide and poly-Llactic acid, and found they all supported bacteria growth.
He said the fillers must be regulated and treated as if they were a surgical implant.
President of the Australianli Society Plastic Surgeons, Professor Mark Ashton, said he was seeing an increasing number of patients with problems caused by fillers and wanted state governments to tighten regulations.
Dr Ron Feiner, the dean of the Australasian College Cosmetic Surgery, said filler complication rates were very small.
Ensuring the people doing the injecting were properly trained and a member of a college like his was more pressing than a register, Dr Feiner said. firstname.lastname@example.org