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Plastic surgeons have vowed to aid the government in tracking one of the most popular new beauty treatments, face fillers. This procedure involves facial injections, which use various kinds of gels to smooth away wrinkles, as opposed to Botox, which uses a toxin to act on facial muscles. This minimally invasive new procedure, used by both men and women, promises youthful good looks at a cheaper price and requires less recovery time than a facelift. However, unfortunately for some patients, the result can be blotchy skin, bumps on the face or worse.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is worried these fillers are being used on areas not approved by the organization, such as lips. There has also not been enough research on darker skinned patients, who seem to be susceptible to complications from fillers. The FDA asked independent advisers for the best ways to monitor the long-term safety of face fillers and for guidance on improving testing and warning to potential patients about risks. The advisers will be shown data from 823 patients who suffered reactions after being treated by fillers between 2003 and this September; the overwhelming majority were women. Some of these reactions included facial, lip and eye paralysis, disfigurement, vision complications and some severe allergic reactions. Although no deaths have been reported, some of the complications were problematic enough to cause follow-up treatment. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has agreed to encourage doctors to report problems, improve training for doctors and their assistants, and advise consumers.

In this writer’s opinion, it seems as if one appropriate course to take before having such "work" done to oneself is to thorougly check your doctor’s credentialing, check any references you may know, thoroughly investigate the "fillers" being used, thoroughly question your doctor about the "fillers" being proposed, ask about alternative treatment available, and think about whether or not the treatment is actually necessary.

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