Plastic surgery rules rethink

A major review is being launched into cosmetic surgery in Britain following the PIP breast implant scandal. Author, NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh says too many people are unaware that such procedures can have lifelong implications.

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The PIP breast implant scare

  • The PIP breast implant scandal has shone a spotlight on the regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry.
  • Concern grew late last year over the implants, which were made by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).
  • The implants were linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), sparking worries among 47,000 British women who were thought to have had them.

Surgeons welcome cosmetic surgery review

We are delighted that the review is now under way.

We would very much like the review to look at the issue of advertising of cosmetic surgery that is widely used to prey on the vulnerability of patients who seek cosmetic surgery for psychological reasons.

If an outright ban is not achievable, then a new strict code of advertising is badly needed to protect patients.

– Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)

Everybody has been asking for something like this for the past 30 years.

There has to be a fundamental sea change in the marketing of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetics in our country.

At the moment, it's treated like a bit of a game and it shouldn't be like that. I've every faith the review will do a good job.

– James Frame, professor of aesthetic plastic surgery at Anglia Ruskin University

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Questions raised over cosmetic surgery industry

The recent problems with PIP breast implants have shone a light on the cosmetic surgery industry.

Many questions have been raised, particularly around the regulation of clinics, whether all practitioners are adequately qualified, how well people are advised when money is changing hands, aggressive marketing techniques, and what protection is available when things go wrong.

I am concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is and do not consider the life-long implications - and potential complications - it can have.

– NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh

Review of cosmetic surgery launched

A major review into cosmetic surgery is being launched in light of the PIP scandal.

 PIP Breast Implants
A plastic surgeon holds defective silicone gel breast implants Credit: Reuters

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who will lead the inquiry, said he fears many people do not realise such procedures can have lifelong implications.

The review was requested by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley after concerns about cosmetic surgery were raised following the public outcry over faulty PIP breast implants and could lead to tighter regulation of the industry.

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