Cosmetic Surgery: Clients “botched” every week

“Every week I see clients being ‘botched up’ by beauticians here in Montreal,” denounces injector nurse Mirna Saadé, who laments the lack of oversight in the aesthetic field.

Spokesperson for the Association of Aesthetic Injector Nurses of Quebec and owner of the clinic golden hand Regrets that the police cannot intervene as illegal medicine falls under the jurisdiction of the College of Physicians (CMQ), even though they believe lives are sometimes at risk.

“If something happens, these clients fall into the public health system,” she points out.

This is particularly true for two women who became infected with a serious bacterium and had to be treated with antibiotics for months.

The CMQ’s investigations also take many months to complete, Ms Saadé continues. “Who do you call at the weekend? The police don’t intervene,” she also complains, adding that she knows, for example, several beauticians who inject illegally from home.

just a fine

And the rare offenders who get caught only get a fine. However, Ms Saadé points out that a nurse like her who breaks the rules risks losing her professional license and thus preventing her from working, which is much more severe than a fine.

“We can only look at this and laugh at it, there is a total injustice on the record. It disgusts us,” she breathes. A nurse cannot give injections without a patient being seen by a doctor.

Extremely lucrative

In her opinion, the fines are not enough to deter those who want to inject because it is extremely lucrative. Ms Saadé says her clientele has doubled since the pandemic, with appointment delays of up to three months.

“It’s a problem,” acknowledges CMQ President Dr. Mauril Gaudreault, on repeat offenders in the illegal practice of medicine.

The latter also notes a sharp increase in complaints in the field of aesthetic care. A worrying phenomenon, according to the President of the CMQ, whose job is to protect the public. “You have to investigate and do it right to do it right […] it can take X months,” he continues, acknowledging that an average of one year elapses between the investigation and the start of the trial.

In recent years, aesthetic fines have averaged nearly $5,000.

Stubborn bumps on the lips

A woman who wished for plumper lips ended up with blotchy bumps that lasted more than a year after an esthetician illegally gave injections.

“I don’t even want to know what it is [le produit injecté dans mes lèvres] that worries me too much,” says 20-year-old Zohra Zenasni.

On a whim, the young woman wished for more swollen lips. On social media, she found an ad from a beautician promoting it. After three appointments, she is fed up with the pain and bumps on her lips, although she was assured it was normal and would pass.

She couldn’t touch her lips because the pain was severe, she said.

At the time, she had “no idea” that these injections were reserved for professionals. Normally, hyaluronic acid is injected into the lips to make them appear fuller.

Unrelated to

There are dissolving products if a person wants to regain their former lips. With Ms. Zenasni, nothing resolved the imperfections.

“It really taught me a lesson,” she says, adding that now she only sees professionals. However, she regrets that perpetrators only expose themselves to fines. “It doesn’t stop people,” she breathes.

Questionable Products

This sad situation does not surprise the spokeswoman for the Regroupement des Nurses Injectrices en Esthetics du Québec and owner of a clinic, Mirna Saadé.

She is very concerned about the origin of the products used illegally by the beauticians.

In Quebec, clinics like hers need a doctor to prescribe injections, she says. And a drug company can only sell to a doctor.

Ms Saadé believes that beauticians who give injections risk sourcing their products online, especially from abroad. “It makes the competition unfair,” she adds, because not only does her clinic have to buy products from a legitimate supplier, it also has to pay a doctor to see every customer since the new rules in 2017.

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