Cosmetic treatment warning

Patients who have non-surgical cosmetic treatments are being exposed to "unreasonable risks" and "permanent damage" because of a lack of appropriate training for those carrying them out, an industry review has said.

BAAPS: Medical professionals should perform non-surgical treatments

Everyone from beauty therapists to doctor will have to take extra qualification if they want to carry out non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers - a report into the industry is expected to say.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons gave a cautious welcome to the idea, but said that it wanted only medical professionals to be allowed to perform treatments.

Its president, Rajiv Grover, said: "It's not only important enough to be able to wield the syringe but people also have to be able to deal with the possible complications resulting from this treatment".

The review into plastic surgery by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh will be published later this month.

Read: Cosmetic treatment warning

Non-surgical treatments face tighter curbs

The review of plastic surgery standards, carried out by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, will make recommendations to make sure patients "were in safe hands".

It is believed this will mean a new law requiring everyone from beauty therapists to medically-trained doctors to have additional formal qualifications before carrying out treatments.

The report will attempt to clampdown on aggressive sales techniques. Credit: PA

Several other measures have been suggested to the review team by the public, the industry itself and patient groups.

They include a ban on cut-price deals, and a clampdown on aggressive sales techniques and a two-stage consent process for potential patients to allow them time to reflect before making a final decision.

The ideas were released in an interim report in December but the Department of Health said at the time that the review is not bound to adopt them and can come up with its own recommendations.

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Clampdown on 'cosmetic cowboys' welcomed

I am pleased that Sir Bruce Keogh's review has been looking at what training people are getting before they perform cosmetic operations - people under the care of cosmetic firms need to know that they are in medically skilled and safe hands.

I await Sir Bruce Keogh's recommendations in full, but am clear that we must ensure that people undergoing cosmetic procedures are in the hands of someone with the right skills and training.

The days of cosmetic cowboys must become a thing of the past.

– Conservative health minister Dr Dan Poulter

Non-surgical procedures 'carry some risks'

Non-surgical procedures usually involve injections of either fillers or botulinum toxin, and carry less serious risks than surgery in general. However, over-correction can be difficult to treat, as can asymmetrical placement of the filler and allergic reactions.

Usually, the manufacturers include patient information leaflets, which should cover these points. Risks can be minimised by choosing a reputable surgeon or an established nurse practitioner who is working in a clinical environment.

– Professor Simon Kay, British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

The PIP breast implant scare

  • It was launched after around 40,000 women in the UK received implants manufactured by the now-closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP), mostly in private UK clinics.
  • The implants were linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Non-surgical treatments are 'largely unregulated'

All too often we hear of cases that shine a light on poor practices in the cosmetic surgery industry.

I am concerned that some practitioners who are giving non-surgical treatments may not have had any appropriate training whatsoever.

This leaves people exposed to unreasonable risks, and possibly permanent damage.

And our research has shown that the public expect procedures that are so widely available to be safe whereas they are largely unregulated.

There is a clear need for better quality, recognised training for the people performing these operations.

My review will make a number of recommendations for making sure people who choose to undergo these procedures are in safe hands.

– NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh

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What are non-surgical cosmetic treatments?

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures involve products or techniques that make the skin look smoother, or make marks on the skin look less obvious.

There are various procedures available, including:

  • Muscle paralysis, such as injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) to relax facial muscles and make lines and wrinkles less obvious
  • Dermal fillers, injected into wrinkles or creases to fill them out
  • Chemical peels, which use chemicals to remove the outer layer of skin cells
  • Microdermabrasion, which uses fine crystals and a vacuum to remove dead skin cells
  • Non-surgical laser and intense light treatments, such as hair removal

Source: www.nhs.uk

Cosmetic patients exposed to 'unreasonable risks'

Patients who have non-surgical cosmetic treatments are being exposed to "unreasonable risks" and "permanent damage" because of a lack of appropriate training for those carrying them out, the man leading a review of plastic surgery standards has said.

A plastic surgeon holds defective silicone gel breast implant. Credit: Reuters

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said his report on the state of the industry, ordered after the faulty PIP breast implants scandal, would make recommendations to make sure patients "were in safe hands" when it is released later this month.

It is believed this will mean a new law requiring everyone from beauty therapists to medically-trained doctors to have additional formal qualifications before carrying out treatments.

Sir Bruce said he was worried that non-surgical procedures - which include dermal fillers, or laser treatment for wrinkles or hair reduction - make up 90% of the sector but are largely unregulated.