Leeds patients have had thousands of pounds of plastic surgery over the last couple of years in the city. This figure includes all surgery that was paid for by the NHS. YEP obtained the figures via the Freedom of Information Act and found that out of these surgeries about £355,000 of breast enlargements.
The NHS first received criticism earlier this year when a 22 year old from Leeds received breast implants that were paid for by the taxpayers completely even though the price tag was a hefty £4,800 and the surgery was unneeded.
The health service defended the policy it has in place stating that every cosmetic surgery is assessed using very strict terms and that the many of these surgeries were also for reconstruction following surgery for devastating surgeries such as breast cancer.
From April of 2011 until March of 2012 129 cosmetic surgeries were performed at Leeds Hospitals totaling up to a final cost of £289,000. These were all performed on behalf of the NHS. Throughout the same time period the figure dropped down drastically to only 26 which cost the taxpayers a much lesser total of £46,000. The Clinical Commissioning Group stated that the drop was because fewer applicants actually applied to have surgery during last year.
Despite the overall drop, there was a large increase in the amount of breast enlargements that were performed last year. During April 2011 to March of 2012 patients had 93 breast enlargements but in 2012 the figure went up to 140 operations.
A spokesman for Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group explained that they would like to explain that cosmetic surgery is not something that is usually paid for by the NHS and there were migrating circumstances for the surgeries.