Women's health * Healthy living

Surgeons call for ban on cosmetic surgery ads

Surgeons call for ban in cosmetic surgery ads End to cowboy practises

All cosmetic surgery advertising should be banned, UK plastic surgeons said.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) also called for an end to the "lax regulations" which have allowed a "cowboy" market in cosmetic surgery to flourish in the UK.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the Medical Director of the NHS, is currently leading a government review following the PIP breast implants scandal, which has affected more than 40,000 British women.

BAAPS said that advertising cosmetic surgery procedures should be banned, in the same way that promoting prescription medicines is banned.

Consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Fazel Fatah said: “Despite the unfortunate scandal which has brought this issue onto the agenda, it is an absolute joy for us at the BAAPS to hear that this year, the Government will be examining the lax regulations in our sector.

"We understand MPs will review areas such as psychological counselling for cosmetic surgery patients and the unscrupulous marketing activities of many firms which take advantage of the young and the vulnerable.

"These are problems that we have been highlighting for many years. We would like to offer the Commons select committee a simple, six-point plan that will not only aid their investigations but offer a straightforward solution moving forward that will help safeguard the public."

In the past, BAAPS has come out against "marketing gimmicks" - such as competition prizes promising "mummy makeovers," body overhauls, Christmas vouchers and two-for-one offers - claiming it trivialises surgery.

Consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Nigel Mercer has been involved in drafting EU-wide standards currently being circulated to National Standards Bodies.

He said: "The EU draft proposals – CEN403 – are designed to improve aesthetic surgery and medical services to enhance patient safety and promote consistently high standards for providers across Europe.

"Their scope includes the banning of cosmetic surgery being offered as a prize or via financial inducements, and allows only physicians with proven track records to perform specialist procedures."

This article was published on Mon 23 January 2012

Image © maska82 - Fotolia.com

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