Cosmetic surgery – calls for tighter industry controls to raise standards

Despite the scandal last year – where PIP breast implants were found to contain industrial instead of medical-grade silicone – the cosmetic surgery industry is still booming. However, as well as plastic surgery, people are also turning to non-surgical ‘lunchtime’ procedures such as botox and fillers, often administered – quite legally – by non-qualified practitioners.


Because of advances in surgical techniques and the normalisation of cosmetic surgery, ‘having a bit of work done’ is now more accessible and affordable than ever. In fact, the market is thought to have quintupled in turnover in the last ten years and looks set to reach an estimated £3.6bn by 2015. But, the increase in numbers and types of procedure and the lack of controls around non-surgical treatments also means a greater potential for problems. Many are also tempted by adverts offering procedures at cheaper or discounted rates, both in the UK and overseas, exposing themselves further to the possibility of something going wrong.


Disfigurement and additional surgery to repair or reduce the damage caused by complications are distressing for the patient; and costly too. And in many cases, it is the NHS who is left picking up the tab. An independent review chaired by NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh, has recently called for tougher rules and tighter controls in the industry including:


  • Compulsory registration for non-surgical practitioners
  • Better regulation of products
  • Accredited training
  • The introduction of a register of breast implant patients


All of these should hopefully lead to significant improvements in standards and more protection for patients; something also highlighted by this week’s announcement from BAAPS (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) at the launch of their ASC insurance policy which covers corrective treatment of common complications of surgery including reactions to breast implants.


As well as being painful, the complications of a cosmetic procedure that has gone wrong can also impact heavily on a patient’s self-confidence. We recommend that anyone considering going ‘under the knife’ or getting injectables, should treat it as they would any other surgical procedure and make themselves aware of the risks. You should also check the track record of the surgeon or practitioner, and make sure you shop around.


If you think you may have a cosmetic surgery claim for compensation because of a procedure that has gone wrong, we may be able to help. Call Gadsby Wicks now on freephone 0800 321 3112 and talk in confidence to one of our advisers and see our case studies for details of how we’ve helped others.



Posted 16th May 2013 | Posted in News,Uncategorised