Tighter rules for plastic surgery

A ban on cut-price deals and a clampdown on aggressive sales techniques are among ideas submitted to a review of the cosmetic surgery industry following the PIP breast implant scandal. The review will publish recommendations in March.

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Consultant: 'Plastic surgery is a medical procedure'

A ban on cut-price deals and a clampdown on aggressive sales techniques for cosmetic surgery are among ideas submitted to a review of the industry ordered in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal.

Consultant plastic surgeon and president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Rajiv Grover hopes changes to the industry will mean cosmetic surgery will be presented to patients as a medical procedure and not a commodity in the future:

Cosmetic surgery 'sold like double glazing'

Defective silicone gel breast implants manufactured by French company (PIP) seen after being removed by a surgeon in Nice in January 2012 Credit: Reuters / Eric Galliard

A preliminary report from a review into the operating practices of the cosmetic surgery industry, ordered by the Health Secretary after the PIP implant scandal, has criticised the "aggressive marketing techniques" used to attract customers in the UK.

Science writer Vivienne Parry, one of the committee members leading the review, said:

"Aggressive marketing techniques are often used to maximise profit. This may be the right approach for selling double glazing but not for people having or considering whether to have surgery."

"Everyone who decides to have cosmetic surgery should have time to think about the risks. Time limited deals and offers on voucher websites pressure people to make snap decisions."

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Public shows backing for tighter cosmetic surgery rules

The public consultation was launched as part of the review set up after the PIP breast implant scandal last year.

The responses from 180 patients, the public and the industry showed backing for:

  • Banning free consultations for cosmetic surgery to avoid people feeling obliged to have procedures.
  • Ensuring consultations take place with a medical professional rather than a sales adviser.
  • Tighter restrictions on advertising, including a ban on two-for-one deals, those with a time limit or offering cosmetic surgery as competition prizes.
  • A two-stage written consent for surgery, allowing patients to take time over their decision.
  • Better information for patients about the risks associated with surgery, plus photographs of expected bruising and scarring.

Cosmetic surgery industry to face tougher rules

A Scottish PIP implant victim holding one of her ruptured PIP implants after having it removed. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A ban on cut-price deals and a clampdown on aggressive sales techniques for cosmetic surgery are among ideas submitted to a review of the industry ordered in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal.

A two-stage consent process for potential patients to allow them time to reflect before making a final decision were among suggestions given to the review into the plastic surgery industry being led by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director.

The ideas from the public, the industry and patient groups to safeguard people thinking of having cosmetic procedures are included in an interim report, released today, that will feed into the review, due to be published in March.

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