New review of cosmetic procedures in the UK

The recent scandal about plastic surgery and breast implants that are made from a material not suitable for the human body has led to a review of cosmetic procedures in the UK. 50,000 women are expected to have been affected by the problematic implants and experts have asked for there to be more regulation in the industry of cosmetic procedures.

Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are going to be reviewed under the authority of the medical director of the NHS, Sir Bruce Keogh. The move for greater regulation has been welcomed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or BAAPS. They highlight that there is a significant problem in that cosmetic surgery can still be advertised to patients and this is something that should be banned, much like advertising licensed drugs is not allowed in the country.

The president of the BAAPS is Fazel Fatah who has commented, “The breast implant scandal was something that was very unfortunate but it has brought to the governments attention the problems that the industry is facing. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the increased regulations that the government are going to bring to the sector.

We hope to present a plan to the government that will allow them to implement an effective system of regulation which will have the primary focus will be protecting the safety of the public.”

Since the scandal it has become known that there have been many companies taking advantage of marketing techniques that could cause harm to the public. Some cosmetic surgery companies have issued loyalty cards encouraging people to have more procedures and have even offered buy one get one free deals.

A plastic surgeon and former president of BAAPS is Nigel Mercer and he is involved with drafting standards that could be implemented across the European Union. He has said, “The proposals we are drafting are going to improve cosmetic surgery procedures across Europe.

We are developing standards that are going to improve patient care and put the importance of patient safety and well-being beyond all else. We are also going to ban cosmetic surgery being awarded as a prize and make sure that all cosmetic surgeons who are conducting surgery are specialists in the field and have an exemplary track record.”

BAAPS wants to see a ban on all advertising of cosmetic surgery, much like the ban that exists on prescription drugs being advertised. Furthermore, it wants to see injectable treatments for treating skin wrinkles to become medications. Currently these are not regarded as medicine and are only required to have the CE mark – which might normally be seen on many household items.

Mr Fatah continued, “In the past we have worked very hard to educate people about the marketing techniques from unscrupulous cosmetic surgery companies. Their tendency is to trivialise surgery and make it seem like a procedure that is not serious, but any surgery carries a risk and patients should be fully aware of this. The kind of promotions we are seeing in this part of medicine are completely unacceptable.”