Doctor warns against unsafe use of filler



A DOCTOR criticized the unsafe use of cosmetic fillers after seeing a Cork patient narrowly avoided blindness following a tattoo parlor procedure.

Dr Brian Cotter is Co-Founder and Medical Director of SISU, which has cosmetic clinics in Miami, New York, Dublin and Cork. He is currently calling on the government to introduce laws on lip and face fillers.

Dr Cotter and his brother Dr James Cotter, co-founder of SISU, recently wrote a letter to the Minister of Health highlighting their concerns.

The brothers are urging the government to restrict dermal fillers to healthcare professionals and completely ban treatments to those under 18.

Dr Cotter described how the people of Cork risked serious complications from being injected with fillers at places like their kitchen tables and in tattoo parlors.

“When you think of the people who go to someone’s house to do lip fillers, that is insane,” he said.

“No self-respecting doctor will make house calls because it’s never something that should be done on a kitchen table.”

He referred to a patient who came to see him after receiving fillers under his eyes at a tattoo parlor. The cosmetic procedure is designed to add volume to areas under the eyes with a hollow or sagging appearance.

“Someone in Cork came to see me who had a filling done under my eyes in a tattoo parlor. I almost had to take a deep breath as she told me what had happened, ”he said.

“When she came back and asked what product had been used, they didn’t tell her. However, when she explained that she needed to see a doctor, they told her that it was a Chinese product that had obtained its CE mark in Norway. I had never heard of this product before and it was not something that there was a lot of data available on.

Dr Cotter pointed out the trauma suffered by the patient.

“The person has undergone a visible change in their appearance. You could see that the product was placed in the wrong place and aesthetically it did not look very nice.

“The technique used was another factor. This person was very lucky not to go blind. However, they were totally oblivious to this fact. This was done in an off-going area where we tend not to use sharp needles. It doesn’t sound terrific.

“It’s important that people change their perception of what’s in this stuff. They are not beauty products. These are medical treatments. This means that they must be performed by healthcare professionals in a medical environment. It’s not something that should be done on your kitchen table by someone who also does your fingernails, yet it happens everywhere.

Dr Brian Cotter, who urges the Minister of Health to create laws on lip and face fillers

He stressed that a tragedy should not happen until the legislation is available.

“What we are asking the government to do is set standards that others can follow. As far as we are concerned, the patient comes first and business comes second.

“The general public is more and more educated now, but unfortunately legislation has to be introduced. As with any other form of legislation, this requires public outcry or some disaster to become a reality.

“Someone will lose sight of an eye or some other problem, and from that space they will be examined. At this point, however, it will be too late.

Corkman and co-founder of SISU physician-led aesthetic clinics, Pat Phelan said the products are too widely available.

“You can now buy loads on Amazon, which means these are products that anyone can access,” Mr. Phelan said.

“If something is wrong, a beautician will not know what to do. There is no process of thinking about what can go wrong if complications arise. You wouldn’t have a family member give you a shot in your face, but that’s no different as they don’t have the medical expertise.

The entrepreneur said more and more people are resorting to these types of treatments in the workplace.

Speaking of the SISU channel, he said: “Business is really booming despite the pandemic. People have jobs now because they see their faces up close for online events like zoom meetings. Most of the time, this influences their decision to do the job and make improvements. “

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