Miami Surgeon Opens Botox Drive-Thru and Fellow Physicians are Outraged

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When it comes to injectables, NewBeauty has always taken the stance that these procedures are best performed by a qualified doctor in a safe, sterile environment. This means the oft-mentioned at-home Botox party or injections from a specialist practicing out of scope, like at a general practitioner or a pediatrician’s office, are big no-nos that we’re constantly informing our readers about.

But what about when it’s a board-certified plastic surgeon that is practicing within scope? This should be a simple yes-yes situation, right? Not so, says the doctors we spoke to about Miami plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, MD—aka Dr. Miami’s new venture, a Botox drive thru during the COVID-19 epidemic.

After hearing of Dr. Miami’s drive thru opening this weekend, Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Shino Bay Aguilera made a statement on his Instagram page: “Drive-Thru Botox devalues and undermines every safety and care standard we strive to uphold in our sterile clinics, and God forbid if an adverse event occurs during the procedure and not all utilities of a clinical setting are available to prevent permanent damage to the patient.” 

Dr. Aguilera isn’t alone, doctors from across the country were incensed at the news and had a lot to say when speaking with NewBeauty. “Sad” is a word that Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD used to describe the unusual situation and Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias concurs. “This should NEVER be a thing,” adds Dr. Elias. “You cannot provide the same safe environment for a patient in a drive-up setting that you can in your office. It’s just sad that it has come to this.”

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” says Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD. “If these patients are truly sitting in their cars, then I would have concerns about the potential for reactions such as vasovagal where the patient develops a severe hypotension, may become unconscious, have tonic/clinic jerks, injure themselves, etc.”

“Its unethical and should be illegal,” says New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD. “It demeans the work and it demeans our profession.” It’s also unnecessarily risky explains Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD. “In the very rare circumstance that a patient loses consciousness due to a vasovagal episode, a ‘routine’ procedure becomes an urgent one within seconds. As expert injectors, we treat these episodes not infrequently in our offices, and even in the most controlled office setting, it can become very serious very quickly. How does one help or resuscitate a patient who slumps over in a car when the injector is standing outside the car window?”

La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD, says he cannot ever recommend this treatment in this setting to anyone: “Although this is a noninvasive procedure, it’s a medical procedure and should be done in the most appropriate setting with sterility and all of the other measures we take for injectable procedures. It’s not something I would consider doing on a member of my family or staff and because of that it should never be done on a patient.”

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