31 December 2012
Last updated at 02:02 ET
Cosmetic procedures should not be sold aggressively, the report says
People responding to a public consultation on cosmetic surgery have called for a ban on cut-price deals and aggressive sales techniques.
Responses from patients, the public and industry, are being published as part of the review set up after the PIP breast implant scandal last year.
A final report, by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, is due in March.
A spokesman for cosmetic surgeons said procedures should not be sold as “a commodity”.
The health secretary asked Sir Bruce to look at the regulation and safety of products used in cosmetic surgery and the care given to patients both during and after their treatment.
‘Time to think’
Among the suggestions included in the interim report were calls for less aggressive selling of cosmetic procedures and tighter restrictions on advertising, for example a ban on two-for-one and time-limited deals – and on offering cosmetic surgery as competition prizes.
Providing patients with photos of expected bruising and scarring, as well as more detail on the risks associated with surgery should be standard procedure too, a respondent said.
GP Dr Rosemary Leonard, the BBC Breakfast doctor and review committee member, said patients should always talk to a doctor first.
“It is wrong that the first consultation is with a sales person rather than a medical professional.
“Surgery – indeed any cosmetic intervention – is a serious step, and a patient must be told about the immediate side effects after surgery as well as any potential long term effects on their health.”
Rajiv Grover, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) welcomed the call to end the practice of sales people holding consultations.
He said: “We’re pleased that the report – and public opinion – so strongly reflects our own views.
“We have made the comparison between cosmetic surgery being sold as a commodity, much as a washing machine or off-the-shelf beauty products, many times before.
“Medical procedures simply cannot continue to be promoted in this manner and although it is tragic that it has taken a crisis of the magnitude of PIP to make the world sit up and take notice, it seems we’re finally making headway towards a safer environment for patients.
“It’s time to scrub up and take action to restore confidence in our sector.”
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