Three U.S. women developed kidney failure after receiving derriere-enhancing injections at an unlicensed clinic in North Carolina, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a warning Friday that urges consumers to take extra caution when planning for cosmetic procedures.
The report, which is published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlights the investigation that took place after the women filed complaints in December.
According to the report, all three females had the procedures done by an unlicensed practitioner without any medical supervision, but have since recovered.
The CDC said its research “underscore[s] the risks posed by cosmetic injections administered by unlicensed practitioners. Public health officials should be on alert for adverse events associated with these injections and take all necessary actions to prevent additional injuries.”
Dr. Yael Halaas, a Manhattan-based, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, was not surprised when she read the report on Friday.
Halaas has treated several patients who came to her after they developed complications due to treatment from an unlicensed practitioner.
“I can think of four women in the past six weeks who have come to me with silicone injection complications,” Halaas said Friday in an interview with FOX News.com. “They were approached in beauty salons. Two had infections; two had cosmetic deformity due to poor placement.”
Research records indicate the substance used on the three women in North Carolina was liquid silicone, but since that substance has not been associated with kidney failure in the past, the CDC cannot positively identify it.
“If you don’t have a medical license in this country, you cannot purchase from authorized dealers,” Halaas said. “You can’t even purchase sterile needles. It’s truly terrifying. So, where on earth are they getting their supplies from?”
Patients have told Halaas these untrained practitioners are individuals who either work at a medical office or who claim to be medical doctors visiting from other countries.
“They are putting their own financial gain over patient safety,” Halaas said. “Be wary of something that is too cheap.”
Halaas used this analogy: Like those who mass-produce fake designer purses, there are also people who make fake fillers.
The CDC said administration of soft-tissue fillers has been linked to not only severe illnesses and side effects, but also death.