Selling cosmetic surgery is like selling double-glazing.

The president of BAAPS (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) says cosmetic surgery should be considered as a medical procedure and not a commodity.

An interim report on the industry into the regulation of cosmetic surgery has called for tighter restrictions on advertising and greater enforcement of existing legislation.

Presently, cosmetic surgery is not considered as a medical procedure and it is not subject to the same advertising ban as prescribed medications. Currently there are no restrictions as to how cosmetic procedures can be advertised. There are many companies which offer cosmetic surgery as a competition prize or give away two procedures.

These types of aggressive marketing techniques are used to make profit and are more suited to selling double-glazing then a medical procedure.

In the last the few years there has been a rise in the number of voucher websites offering time limited deals offering huge savings on various cosmetic procedures.  Many believe that these should be banned as it forces patients to make snap decisions when they should be given time to carefully consider the procedure and the risks before agreeing without fear that they may be charged more.

For many people preparing to undergo plastic surgery the first consultation will be with a salesperson and not a qualified medical practitioner. 

Surgery should be considered as a serious step and prospective patients should be provided with information on side effects including seeing photographs of expected bruising and scaring so that they are better prepared. Instead, surgery is being glamorised and ‘played down’ in order to make more attractive.

BAAPS has recommend that there be greater training for those offering cosmetic surgery including the protection of the title ‘surgeon’ and regulations that only medically qualified staff can administer injectable treatment.

The present legislation has been described as ‘lax’ as some of the most common procedures such as Botox and fillers are not regulated and can be performed by unlicensed non-medical practitioners.

The clinical negligence department at Swain & Co welcomes the recommendations for stricter legalisation as we understand that the cost to patients of negligent surgery is not just physical and financial but also psychological.

We recognise that patients find it hard to come forward about a claim, often because they feel that they have opted for surgery and complications are something that they should accept. This is not always the case, and we at Swain & Co will do what we can to help you through this difficult time.

If you would like more information regarding cosmetic surgery that has gone wrong, please contact our specialist clinical negligence team on 02392 483322.