BOTOX® Parties – A Dangerous Trend?
By Thomas Hall
Published on August 09, 2007
A relaxed setting.
A pleasant, even fun atmosphere.
Friends, food, sometimes alcohol… the ideal environment for a party. Oh, and one more thing… BOTOX® Cosmetic.
A few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration put its stamp of approval on the use of botulinum toxin, or BOTOX®, for cosmetic treatments. A BOTOX® wave subsequently swept the nation, as the injections offered a relatively inexpensive and safe way to fill in facial lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, if only for a few months. With the barrage of advertisements that proclaimed the safety, effectiveness, and virtual painlessness of BOTOX® injections, it became more and more popular, and more readily available. However, physicians who treated BOTOX® patients individually were faced with a dilemma: after a vial of BOTOX® Cosmetic had been opened, it had to be used within four hours, and whatever solution that remained after that time had to be discarded. But if you could treat a number of patients at the same time, that problem could be avoided. Thus, the BOTOX® revolution branched off into a sub-trend: BOTOX® parties.
BOTOX® parties generally consist of a small gathering of people at someone's home, complete with a physician, vials of BOTOX® Cosmetic, and sterilized needles. BOTOX® recipients typically pay a lower amount for the injections at these parties than they would for individual treatments at a physician's office. Plus, the procedure is conducted in a party-like environment, which can lessen the tension and make the patient feel more relaxed.
However, for some physicians, this is a troubling trend. The FDA and many doctors have maintained that these gatherings are dangerous because they do not take place in a sterilized, medical environment. Plus, there is typically no system in place to handle emergencies should they arise.
Another problem arises when alcohol is factored into the mix. Some BOTOX® parties contain all the accoutrements of a regular party, and consumption of liquor is not uncommon. With BOTOX® injections, alcohol consumption can result in increased bruising around the treatment sites. Plus, some doctors warn that the effects of alcohol on the ability to process information can prevent a person from fully understanding the treatment, its results, and possible complications.
Many medical professionals who conduct BOTOX® parties claim that they arrange these parties only for patients who have previously undergone treatment at their own offices, and that they adhere to strict standards of safety and sterilization. However, there is still the concern that if BOTOX® injections are administered by someone who is not licensed or properly trained, severe side effects such as facial paralysis could result. In Australia, this concern is so great among physicians that the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has campaigned for more than a year to have BOTOX® parties banned. And in New South Wales, BOTOX® parties have prompted the government to order a review of the cosmetic surgery industry.
Most doctors contend that BOTOX® Cosmetic should be administered in safe, sterile, medical environments with emergency equipment on-hand. They also advise treatment should be given only by a licensed, qualified medical professional, preferably a board-certified plastic surgeon.