Aurora Clinics welcomes government's review of the cosmetic surgery industry
Consultant Plastic Surgeon Adrian Richards says review is "long overdue"
The PIP breast implants scandal has led the Department of Health to launch a sweeping review of the entire cosmetic surgery industry - a move that many surgeons are saying should have happened a long time ago.
So far, more than 40,000 UK women have been found to have received PIP breast implants, which were later found to contain non-medical grade silicone - a horrific breach of trust for women who paid significant sums of money for a product they assumed would be safe.
Many have experienced chronic pain, swelling and other symptoms since receiving the implants, which they attribute to the substandard silicone - though the NHS found no conclusive evidence in their own report filed earlier this year.
Several plastic surgeons, including our very own Adrian Richards, have spoken of their belief that the NHS study was not nearly in-depth enough - or long-lasting enough - to reach meaningful conclusions about the long-term safety of PIPs.
In the light of this missed opportunity, a full-scale review into the entire industry represents a very welcome development.
"We welcome the review and consider it to be long overdue. The UK is currently the least regulated country in the Western world when it comes to our industry, and that needs to change", says Mr Richards.
The review will be led by NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who will head a team which will gather evidence and make recommendations to the government between now and March next year.
The team will look into:
- The qualifications and credentials of practitioners
- The regulation of cosmetic clinics
- The quality of information provided to patients
- The use of “aggressive” marketing techniques
- The protection afforded to patients when things go wrong
Professor Keogh thinks that too many patients are entering into cosmetic surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments like injectables, without researching the credentials of their clinic or practitioner – and without properly considering the risks.
And a Department of Health survey carried out on 1,762 people backs up his belief. This survey found that more people took cost into account than the credentials of their practitioner when deciding to have aesthetic treatments (only half considered qualifications, compared to two thirds who considered cost).
As traumatic as the PIP scandal has been for the thousands of women affected, it seems its lasting legacy may be to help usher in some positive changes. Time will tell whether the review succeeds in its aim of making the aesthetic industry safer for all.
Content Marketing Editor, Aurora Clinics
Aurora Clinics are an expert group of Plastic Surgeons, medical aestheticians and anaesthetists specialising in a broad range of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures (surgical and non-surgical). The Aurora emphasis is on honesty and openness, with information made publicly available via videos, podcasts, photo galleries, a highly comprehensive website and our past-patient network. We are always keen to work with the public and the Press to broaden awareness about cosmetic surgery, helping prospective patients make a fully informed choice. Visit www.aurora-clinics.co.uk for more information.