Cosmetic surgeons ban advertising… cosmetic surgery!

By: Botox Patient - In: Cosmetic Surgery|Medical Spa|Plastic Surgeon|Plastic Surgery

15 Nov 2009

An estimated 100,000 cosmetic surgical procedures are performed in Britain each year, many by doctors who have had no specialist training in cosmetic surgery. In addition, hundreds of thousands of non-surgical procedures are done, including Botox for wrinkles and laser treatments to rejuvenate skin, many by non-medical staff with little or no training.

The 200-member Baaps represents the top surgeons in the business who performed 34,187 surgical procedures in 2008, twice the number in 2004. More than 90 per cent of them were on women. The most popular procedure was breast augmentation, demand for which rose 30 per cent last year.

But Mr Mercer, who combines private practice as a cosmetic surgeon specialising in facelifts with his work as an NHS consultant in reconstructive surgery for cancer patients, said the market for cosmetic surgery, of which Baaps surgeons account for less than one third, was an “unregulated mess”.

He added: “There has been a massive increase in marketing, including discount vouchers, two-for-one offers and holidays with surgery. In no other area of medicine is there such an unregulated mess. What is worse is that national governments would not allow it to happen in other areas of medicine. Imagine a two-for-one advert for general surgery. That way lies madness.”

Mr Mercer, in the journal Clinical Risk, which publishes articles on cosmetic surgery today, he warns that “the doctor’s first duty to protect the patient” has been forgotten in the headlong rush to cash in. “The motive for performing any procedure must never be financial gain … if we cannot self-regulate then regulation will eventually be imposed.”

Citing experience in France, where all advertising of cosmetic procedures is banned, he says: “Perhaps, like tobacco, there should be a Europe-wide ban on advertising all cosmetic surgical procedures, including on the internet search engines.”

Among those who can testify to the dangers is Jill Saward, the former lead singer of 1980s group Shakatak, who last year agreed to a facelift in the hope of reviving her career after her divorce. But she suffered complications aggravated by her high blood pressure and bitterly regretted the decision. Three months after the operation she still did not have full feeling and was warned full recovery could take a year.

“Surgery is not a quick-fix solution,” she said. “The simple truth is that I could have died. I was an idiot, I should have thought much more carefully about the operation and its dangers. It was pure vanity.”

Foad Nahai, president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, backed Mr Mercer’s warning, and called for tougher regulations to prevent doctors practising without specialist training. A code of practice backed by self-regulation of cosmetic clinics was announced by the Government in 2007. Clinics are also subject to inspection by the Care Quality Commission. But Baaps says the measures do not go far enough.

Botox Patient: Posted from Laser Treatment MD

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