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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Cosmetic surgery warning

16th September 2010

A review body has highlighted fundamental weaknesses in the way cosmetic surgery is carried out in Britain.

heart surgery

Many centres were shown to be failing to assess and care for patients properly, others had inexperienced teams and some centres were conducting “have a go” operations which they only performed occasionally.

The safety watchdog, the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, polled 361 sites that offered cosmetic surgery privately, including some NHS hospitals that have private wings, and concluded that closer and tougher regulation was needed.

It was also concerned that half of the sites it had contacted had failed to answer its questions despite rules saying they should.

With some 100,000 cosmetic operations conducted annually, with breast enlargements the most common, the researchers found that psychological evaluation was carried out only in just over a third of centres they assessed while the two-stage consent process, which is recommended to allow patients time to reflect on the treatment, was not performed at 32% of sites.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons President Nigel Mercer said: “This presents a distressing picture, but one which is sadly not surprising. Aesthetic surgery needs to be recognised as the multi-million pound specialty it is.”

Some centres had theatres that were no properly equipped and 20% had no emergency readmission policy

Report author Dr Alex Goodwin said failures in monitoring patients after surgery were "a recipe for disaster".

The Department of Health said the report reflected badly on the industry and it expected tougher regulation in the future.


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