By Kristin Beerman | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – No surprise in this economy that people are turning to the internet for deals on pricey medical products, but doctors say beware when you shop online, the savings may come at the cost of your health. For example every year, more than nine million women turn to injectable fillers to help them look younger. Since they're costly, often more than $500 a treatment, some are saving money by buying products online.
"If it's injected improperly, it can cause skin defects and problems that sometimes can be permanent," said Jeffrey Riopelle, M.D., a cosmetic surgeon. Prescription fillers like Restylane and Juvederm are available only to doctors, so if you order that online, who knows what you're really getting or if it's sterile or even safe?
"Products that aren't pure and are not what they are supposed to be when they're put it sometimes can cause serious infections and in some patients as we've known in the past can actually even cause death," said Mathew Mingrone, M.D., a plastic surgeon.
"I've also had someone bring me a product one time and ask me to inject it and I had no idea where they got the product and I was not about to inject something I didn't purchase myself," said Dr. Riopelle.
So, even if you get lucky and order the real product, remember doctors train for years to learn how to inject it safely. Other dangerous buys you can find online include silicone breast implants, IV bags or an Epipen for allergies, which could be deadly in an allergic emergency. The FDA recommends against buying any medical products online, unless you or your doctor is familiar with the company.
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