The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that consumers are still unaware of the risks associated with aesthetic procedures performed by unlicensed practitioners. Recent reports from Illinois, California, and Georgia document patients who have suffered from pain and disfigurement—and in one case, death—when a woman was injected with cooking oil.

According to the ASAPS, unsuspecting patients have been injected with silicone, baby oil, and other substances that have no safety or efficacy record. Communities where patients have limited resources or do not speak English as a first language are especially susceptible to false advertising and promotion of potentially dangerous procedures.

“We hear very sad and frustrating stories of patients being taken advantage of by phony doctors and illegal procedures,” says James M. Stuzin, MD, ASAPS president. “Patients are being scammed and exposed to great harm. We need to let them know that they should do their homework—find out more information about the procedure, location, and practitioner before going for any kind of cosmetic enhancements.”

[www.surgery.org, May 12, 2006]