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Major clean up of 'grubby' cosmetic surgery clinics

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has promised to clean up the "grubby areas" of an industry that he says does not give patients enough protection, according to The Times.

He said that though there were some very good clinics his inquiry would raise hard questions for the whole industry.

He told the newspaper: "You can be a commercial operation that's well run but are you an ethical operation? Is your practice... driven purely by financial considerations?"


PiPs 'not a major health risk'

The NHS Medical Directors expert group said in June that the gel materials used inside the implants are not toxic or carcinogenic.

PiP breast implants do not cause a long-term health threat, according to the NHS Medical Director’s expert group Credit: Reuters

However it warned that PIP implants are twice as likely to rupture as other brands.

The group, led by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, found that after 10 years the PIP implants have a 15% to 30% chance of rupturing.

Other breast implant brands have a 10% to 14% rupture rate in the same timeframe.

The implants also contain the chemical compound siloxane which is chemically similar to silicone and is found in many consumer products including hair and skin products and antiperspirants and deodorants.

But the experts said the chemical does not present a health risk.

Tough rules to stop rogue cosmetic surgery clinics

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who will lead the inquiry into cosmetic surgery, will recommend tighter rules in several key areas;

  • Making it routine practice for surgeons to register all devices - from breast implants to hip replacements - on a detailed register that could be used to detect trends and trace individual patients.
  • Requiring clinics to join a scheme, similar to that run by the travel industry, that would offer patients protection if a company went bust.
  • tightening the rules on anti-ageing dermal fillers, which require only basic safety checks and can legally be injected by anyone.
  • Introducing minimum training requirements for surgeons carrying out cosmetic procedures.

Cosmetic surgery views sought after breast implant scare

An expert panel, including PIP campaigner Catherine Kydd, former medical director of Bupa Andrew Vallance-Owen and editor of Marie Claire magazine Trish Halpin, will gather evidence before making recommendations to the Government next March.

Thousands of British women have been affected by PIP implants Credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Members of the public are also being asked to share their experiences of cosmetic surgery and views on issues including the safety of products used in such procedures, care during and after treatment, and how much advice is given to those considering surgery.

The review comes as a ComRes survey of 1,762 people showed that only half take the qualifications of a practitioner into consideration - 54% for surgery and 50% for non-surgical procedures.

Two thirds of those questioned, 67% for surgery and 66% for non-surgical procedures, said cost is a factor for them when deciding whether to have surgery.

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

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.

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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