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Sales before safety for surgery

7th January 2008

Research carried out by consumer group Which? has found that some cosmetic surgery clinics are guilty of "putting sales before patient safety".

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Undercover research was performed at 19 clinics using hidden recording devices in London, Leicester, Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham and Bristol in 2007.

The researchers visited as potential candidates for liposuction, breast surgery and Botox treatments. Which? said that none of the clinics provided the researchers with "all the verbal and written information they should have".

Which? found that many clinics minimised the possible dangers of cosmetic surgeries when speaking to potential customers. Some clinics falsely stated that surgeries were "minor" procedures. In addition, at some clinics non-qualified staff gave "inappropriate and inaccurate advice".

Many of the clinics tried sales techniques in order to hurry customers into buying surgical treatments, including special offers and discounts.

Which? spokeswoman Jenny Driscoll said: "There are risks with all cosmetic treatments, so when people go for a consultation they should get accurate and in-depth advice from a medical professional, not a pitch from an unqualified salesperson."

Guidelines for cosmetic surgery advise that potential customers need to have a fortnight to think between booking the procedure and having an operation. There is also a ban on the use of deadlines which offer financial advantages to patients.

Ms Driscoll said that Which? intended to call for the government to improve standards and regulations within the industry.


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Article Information

Title: Sales before safety for surgery
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5238
Date Added: 7th Jan 2008

Sources

BBC News

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