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12 February 2015

Should only ‘specialist surgeons’ perform Cosmetic Surgery?

The Royal College of Surgeons has suggested that doctors should not be allowed to perform cosmetic surgery that isn’t already in their specialist range. This supports their idea to give patients access to an approved register in a bid to improve care standards, and allow them to make more informed decisions about their treatment.

 After the PIP health scare in which thousands of women across Europe and South America were fitted with sub-standard, Poly Implant Prothese breast implants, ministers have since described cosmetic surgery as a “cowboy industry”.

 “The cosmetics industry has been completely unregulated for far too long,” said Dr Dan Poulter, the health minister. “Whilst there are some excellent and responsible surgeons and cosmetics practitioners, we have to put an end to the cosmetics cowboys.”

 There is great concern that those who currently choose to undergo cosmetic surgery are doing so without adequate protection or support. It increases the risk of these surgical procedures going wrong and of patients suffering negligent aftercare or practices.

 Although the certificate system is a great step forward towards regulating surgeons, for now it will be completely voluntary. However, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) believe the new system “will only protect the public if the recommendations are mandatory and policed.”

Their spokesman, Rajiv Grover, states, “It is essential that the public know who to go to when seeking a qualified cosmetic surgeon, but also, to be assured that the quality of their outcome will meet accepted standards, and particularly to meet their own expectations.”

 When a cosmetic surgery procedure goes wrong, the physical and psychological effects are long-lasting and devastating.

 Last year, BAAPS recorded a 41% rise in liposuction procedures, with the total number of cosmetic surgery operations rising to be above 50,000.

 With procedures such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and facial rejuvenation more accessible in recent years, higher demand of the industry means there is a lot of choice for patients in terms of who they receive the procedure from.

 In 2014, discovered there had been a 109% increase in ‘medical tourism’ over the past two years and with an overall boom in cosmetic solutions, more can be done to ensure that clients receive a high standard of care.

 “This tightening of existing regulations will go a long way to help prospective patients and employing clinics recognise high-quality surgical expertise, leading to improved patient safety,” said Nigel Mercer of British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.

 Longden, Walker & Renney have extensive experience in cases of cosmetic treatment negligence. We seek to achieve adequate compensation to cover required corrective treatment(s), as well as any physical suffering or financial loss you may have experienced.

 If any of the above applies to you, we recommend you contact one of our specialist solicitors using our no-obligation contact form. You may also request a call back or call 0191 5666 500; you will not be charged for your initial advice session and we will aim to bring your claim to a successful conclusion.