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Dermatologic surgeons debut adverse event reporting database


The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association and the department of dermatology at Northwestern University, Chicago, have launched the Cutaneous Procedures Adverse Events Reporting (CAPER) registry.

Dr. Murad Alam, vice-chair of the department of dermatology and chief of the division of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery at Northwestern University, Chicago

Dr. Murad Alam

CAPER is a voluntary reporting system designed to collect reports of patients’ adverse events encountered during dermatologic surgery procedures, both cosmetic and those related to skin cancer. The goals of the CAPER registry are to provide safety monitoring, identify practice and/or education gaps associated with adverse events, and identify potential adverse event risk factors.

“CAPER is a registry overseen by a group of board-certified dermatologists, clinicians, and researchers with more than 20 years of experience in patient care and physician advocacy who are committed to improving safety outcomes,” according to an ASDSA press release. “The collaboration between Northwestern University and ASDSA will ensure that CAPER becomes the common place for dermatologic surgeons and their staff to report adverse events from devices, drugs or biologics.”

The launch of the database is important because it fills a gap in adverse event reporting, Murad Alam, MD, professor of dermatology and chief of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University, said in an interview.

There has been no central registry specifically for reporting adverse events associated with dermatologic surgical procedures, including cosmetic and injectable treatments, he said. “While minimally invasive cosmetic and skin procedures have been proven to be exceedingly safe, this registry will provide an early warning system to identify any problems that do occur, so these can be addressed promptly. This registry will allow dermatologists, patients, and industry scientists to work together to further improve the safety of dermatologic procedures,” added Dr. Alam, the past ASDSA president, and current chair of the ASDSA’s Federal Affairs Work Group.

In addition, “recent reports of the possible interaction between some filler injections and certain COVID vaccines confirms the timeliness of redoubling our emphasis on safety. Dermatologists have always been at the forefront of maximizing the patient experience while minimizing risk; this registry is further evidence of that ongoing commitment,” he emphasized.

The CAPER database will gather information on a variety of dermatologic and cosmetic procedures, including those involving topicals and injectables (such as botulinum toxin, fillers, and chemical peels), devices (such as lasers and microneedling devices), cellular-based therapies (such as platelet-rich plasma and stem cell treatments), and surgical treatments (such as liposuction and hair transplantation), Dr. Alam said.

“Novel procedures, and those yet to be devised, as long as they relate to skin surgery or cosmetic improvement, will also be able to be reported. We encourage the reporting of all associated adverse events, even if it is not clear what caused the event. No dermatologic or cosmetic procedures will be excluded from reporting,” he added.

The purpose of the CAPER registry is “to help patients, physicians, and industry work collaboratively to ensure the highest levels of patient safety,” Dr. Alam continued. Data entered into the registry will be deidentified and will remain confidential, and as data on particular topics accumulate, the data “may be analyzed to better understand the patient experience and, secondly, to develop strategies to further improve safety,” he noted.

“One unique element of this registry is that it is focused on dermatologic and cosmetic procedures,” Dr. Alam added. “As a result, those managing and analyzing the data collected will be attuned to the particular concerns associated with such procedures and the patients receiving them.”

For more information and to report dermatologic surgery-related adverse events, go to

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