International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses

PSN Journal

February, 2016
International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses

Kristi Elliott, RN, FNP-C, CPSN

One of the fun things about working in plastic surgery is getting to try the latest and greatest products as soon as they come out. I've always been hesitant to try new products and technologies on my patients. I like to wait and see what complications and results show up after being used for a while. For some reason I donít always apply that rule to myself. I recently had an experience with a new product that made my lips swell to an alarming size! We're talking lips that would make Angela Raiola's of Mob Wives look small. I knew how to manage the swelling and I knew it would only be temporary and that soon my results would be good, but knowing all of that didn't make me feel much better.

Procedures for injectable safety should be followed every time, with every patient. Injectable safety is something that I am passionate about and have written about before. It is important that we have a safety check list that we follow each time we do a procedure and our offices have medications to treat complications on hand. Just because the patient is well known to you, or a friend, or even yourself, safety procedures should be the same each time. I felt foolish and scared being at home alone with giant, painful lips. I have spent years reassuring patients that their lips would go down, that they would look great, but could not convince myself. Luckily I was able to spend a weekend at home without anyone seeing me.

This experience reminded me of the importance of having safety procedures that are followed every time. Just behind that in importance is patient education. Whenever I inject a patientís lips for the first time I make them repeat several times "I am not allowed to love them or hate them for 2 weeks". This cuts down on many next day hysterical phone calls. I did realize that I probably don't spend enough time educating my patients on potential complications. Because we see so many of these procedures we may be quick to respond to patients by saying oh that's normal. It may be normal and something that we see each day, but it is probably the only time this has ever happened to the patient. They have come to the office for a minor procedure to make them look or feel better and may have an unusual reaction or complication. The product brochures put out by the companies show great results and minimize the risks. I am going to do a better job educating my patients about potential complications from procedures that are considered by most patients to be low risk. I'm not sure that going over the consent form helps patients understand. Most are excited and ready to get the procedure underway. I am resolving to do a better job education my patients about what is normal and what complications may happen. Maybe Iíll even show them my picture!

13th Annual Aesthetic Symposium
April 2-3, 2016
Mandalay Bay Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada

42nd Annual Convention
September 23-26, 2016
Omni Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

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