Leading plastic surgeons have recently commented that they would like to see advertising of cosmetic surgery banned because it has allowed a market to flourish for surgeries conducted by people without the necessary skills.
The announcement has come after the scandal that has affected many women in Britain after they were given breast implants that were filled with the type of silicon that is not permitted to be used for cosmetic procedures. The medical director of the NHS has been ordered to conduct a review of plastic surgery procedures being done in the UK.
The government order for a review has been welcomed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Currently, there are laws that ban the advertising of drugs directly to the public, however there is no law preventing the advertising of plastic surgery to people. The Association has said that they want to see this legal loophole closed and for surgical advertising to be banned.
The president of BAAPS is Fazel Fatah who has commented, “While it is very unfortunate that this scandal has occurred we welcome the government scrutiny and we are hoping that the lax regulations we can see in this cosmetic surgery sector are going to be tightened up.
Marketing techniques by unscrupulous companies mean that vulnerable people are being taken advantage of, this is a problem that we have been talking about for many years and we welcome the investigation into it. We hope that important regulations will be put in place that will safeguard the interests of the public.”
Marketing from cosmetic surgery companies include the techniques such as giving away travel vouchers, offering prizes of cosmetic surgery and giving people loyalty cards. A former head of the BAAPS, Nigel Mercer, stated, “I have been working with the European Union to create standards that will apply throughout Europe. We want to find a way for cosmetic surgeons to deliver the highest standard of care to their patients and put patient safety before all else.
“We intend to only allow physicians with an excellent track record to perform these types of surgery and they must be specialised in the type of work they are doing. We also want to see certain regulations on marketing and one of the most important bans is for cosmetic surgery being offered as a prize to be banned.”
BAAPS also wants to see dermal fillers, which are used to eliminate wrinkles through an injection, to be reclassified as medication. Currently these treatments are not regarded as medicine and only require the CE mark, something which is commonly seen on household devices such as washing machines.
They also stated that it is very important that those practising cosmetic surgery have to register. Currently registration is entirely voluntary and in order to enhance higher standards in the industry a formal register should be established. Mr Fatah continued, “BAAPS has been working very hard in the past to make people realise surgery is not trivial and be aware of the advertising techniques companies use.”