16 August 2012

UK to review cosmetic surgery industry

Britain has launched a review of the cosmetic surgery industry, which could lead to tighter restrictions.


Britain has launched a review of the cosmetic surgery industry, which could lead to tighter restrictions on the way companies operate and market their services in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal.

The Department of Health said that Bruce Keogh, medical director of the National Health Service, would lead a team that will gather evidence and make recommendations to the government by March.

The PIP scandal exposed deficiencies in the cosmetic surgery sector, with more than 40 000 British women given substandard silicone breast implants made by French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), among hundreds of thousands worldwide.

The review will also consider wider cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, liposuction and Botox injections.

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

"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."

Keogh said he was concerned people did not realise how serious cosmetic surgery was and often failed to consider potential complications.

A Department of Health survey found many people viewed the cost of surgery as more important than the qualifications of the people doing it, or how they would be looked after.

Two thirds of the 1762 people questioned considered cost as a factor when deciding whether or not to have cosmetic surgery while only half took the qualifications of their practitioner into consideration.

(Reuters Health, August 2012)

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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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