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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

While the do-it-yourself spirit is great for making hand-knitted socks or tasty desserts, it can be downright deadly when it comes to medical procedures. Over the years, more and more stories have cropped up of people whose lives were put in grave danger, thanks to at-home, DIY treatments or treatments delivered by people who were not professionals.

Even if you think you'll save money in the end or that you're supporting an up-and-coming professional, seeing anyone who isn't a board-certified doctor for any treatment, whether it's Botox injections or surgery, is a risky gamble.

Although plastic surgery and non-invasive procedures usually seek to change your appearance, there's also a lot going on beneath the surface. Don't try this at home, and if you do get the procedure done, always confirm the credentials of the person you work with.

Things Are More Complicated Than They Look

One of the major reasons why you should always leave plastic surgery or any type of cosmetic procedure to an experienced, trained professional is that things are often not as easy or simple as they appear. Take Botox, for example. It might look as though a surgeon is injecting the substance just anywhere in the face and that precision doesn't matter.

The opposite is actually true. Your face has more than 40 muscles. To perform Botox injections correctly and make sure the right lines and muscles are being targeted, the surgeon needs to know exactly which muscle to inject into. He or she also needs to know the exact amount that is safe to use. Using too much Botox can increase your risk for side effects or serious complications, such as a drooping eyelid or trouble breathing. If injected into the wrong location, the substance can cause a severe and dangerous reaction, putting your life at risk.

No Guarantee of Safety

If you buy Botox online or from a mysterious source on the street, you have no guarantee that what you're actually getting is Botox. Even if you do get actual Botox, it might not come to you in ready-to-inject form. To get the right results, you need to know the proper dilution for the substance.

Additionally, black-market Botox can be contaminated. You don't have the guarantee that the substance was kept in a sterile environment before it arrived at your door. Along with the risk of causing serious damage to your face, using contaminated Botox puts you at risk for a dangerous infection.

Even if you see someone claiming to be an expert or professional, you don't have the guarantee that the product he or she is offering is safe, unless that person is a medical professional operating in an accredited practice. For example, there have been reports of people providing silicone butt injections on the black market. After patients experienced severe pain and other symptoms, requiring a hospital visit, it was reported that the silicone used wasn't medical grade, but instead the stuff used for industrial purposes.

Truly Terrifying Results

One of the more recent DIY cosmetic procedures horror stories involves a woman named Apryl Brown. Brown had received silicone injections in her buttocks and developed a staph infection after. The infection nearly killed her, and the only way doctors were able to save her life was by amputating her hands and feet and by removing a significant amount of tissue from her buttocks and hips.

Along with the risk for life-threatening complications, there's also the risk of legal ramifications if you perform DIY injections. People have gone to jail for offering to sell black market Botox or for showing people how to use it.

Going the DIY route isn't worth the risk to your health or your life. If you are considering any type of procedure, from non-surgical fillers to plastic surgery, you need to see a board certified, trained surgeon. In Central Florida, that person happens to be Ivy League-educated, nationally recognized facial plastic surgeon Dr. Ross Clevens, the only board certified facial plastic surgeon in the region. To learn more about safe ways to get the look you want, contact his office by calling (321) 727-3223 to schedule a consultation today.

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