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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Plea for tighter restrictions on cosmetic surgery

2nd January 2013

Strong calls have been made for a ban on aggressive selling of cosmetic surgery.


The findings come from a public consultation among patients, the public and industry following the review set up after the PIP breast implant scandal.

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh is due to publish a final report in March.

But initial responses suggest there needs to be tighter restrictions on the advertising of cosmetic surgery, a ban on financial inducements or time-limited deals and undue pressure was being placed on patients with the emphasis on price rather than quality.

The review follows concerns over health risks associated with Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants made by a French company with some 40,000 British women thought to have the silicone implants with most procedures conducted privately rather than on the NHS.

Writing in the foreword to the summary of responses, Sir Bruce said the responses sent a clear message that the current regulatory framework "doesn’t do enough to support consumer rights or patient safety".

“The proliferation of advertising for cosmetic surgery and its use in TV make-over programmes was felt to trivialise surgery and its risks, while making excessive claims of its impact on people's emotional wellbeing,” the summary said.

Sally Taber, director of trade body Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, said aggressive sales techniques were “totally inappropriate” and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has welcomed the call to end the practice of sales people holding consultations.

BAAPS president Rajiv Grover said cosmetic surgery cannot continue to be sold as a commodity.


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