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Plastic surgeons or nurses: Who are the better injectors?

In recent years, minimally invasive aesthetic injectable procedures have grown in popularity as more and more men and women are seeking age-defying treatments. As Botulinum toxin generally known as BOTOX use has increased, a growing number of nonaesthetic health professionals have emerged to perform procedures utilizing this and other injectables. Kevin Small, MD and Henry M. Spinelli, MD from the Division of Plastic Surgery Presbyterian Hospital in New York and Kathleen M. Kelly, MD from Columbia University in New York have assessed the capability of various providers to administer cosmetic injections. According to their survey, plastic surgeons consider themselves the most capable injectors. The results of their study appear in the official journal of ISAPS Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, published by Springer.

Since studies have shown that patients identify training as the most important factor when considering these procedures, this study seeks to summarize the perspective of plastic surgeons regarding these paradigm shifts.

In the summer of 2013, an online survey was sent to 26,113 plastic surgeons globally. Six questions assessed various healthcare practitioners' capability to administer BOTOX , fillers, and vaccines. Healthcare practitioners included plastic surgeons and dermatologists, gynecologists, dentists, nurses in plastic surgery and dermatology, or nurses in other fields.

Based on responses from over 880 plastic surgeons from around the world, plastic surgeons consider themselves and dermatologists the most capable injectors. However, they still believe nurses in other fields to be the most capable of administering vaccines.

"Since most of the growth in the field of cosmetic injectables is being driven by providers other than plastic surgeons and dermatologists, it appears that further clarification of training requirements and practice guidelines is necessary to ensure a consistent, reproducible, and safe experience for the patient," explained Dr. Henry Spinelli, primary investigator on this study.

These findings may provide a foundation to further investigate the relationship of patients and their injectable provider, especially in the setting of recent international press queries about regulations and standards for injectable practices. This preliminary study may initiate a substantive discussion concerning the role of various practitioners in an increasingly competitive injectables environment.


Contact: Joan Robinson

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