Ban cosmetic surgery ads, regulate the industry, urge to uk government


Ban cosmetic surgery ads, regulate the industry, urge to uk government

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) is calling on the UK government to ban cosmetic surgery advertising and tighten up industry regulations, including carrying annual checks on surgeons.

The association has long voiced its objection to the use of "marketing gimmicks" to promote cosmetic surgery and what it sees as the lax regulation of the industry.

It says people acquire unrealistic expectations from exposure to reality shows and competitions that feature cosmetic surgery "makeovers" and "body overhauls".

BAAPS president Fazel Fatah told the BBC:

"In no other area of surgery would one encounter Christmas vouchers and two-for-one offers - the pendulum has swung too far, and it is time for change."

"Over the last decade the BAAPS has worked tirelessly to educate the public on the many aggressive marketing gimmicks that not only trivialise surgery but endanger the patient," said Fatah.

BAAPS wants a "six-point plan" to rein in the "cowboy" market and tighten up the industry, reports the Press Association.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh is currently leading a Government review of the sector following the recent PIP breast implant scandal, which has affected about 40,000 British women.

He said last week that one option would be to have an insurance scheme for cosmetic surgery patients, like the one in the travel industry where companies pay into a fund that pays out to customers when things go wrong.

Another option the government is considering is a breast implant registry where details of all breast implant operations are recorded.

But BAAPS wants the government to go further. They say cosmetic surgery is a medical procedure and should not be advertised, just like you don't see adverts in the UK for knee replacements and liver transplants. The same ban that currently applies to these and prescription medicines should apply to cosmetic surgery, they argue.

The association also wants products carrying the CE mark to be revalidated. By putting the CE mark on their product, manufacturers declare it complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation.

The PIP implants at the centre of the current controversy carried a CE mark, but they contained non-medical grade silicone, of a type used to fill mattresses.

BAAPS are part of the expert group that is advising the government on the situation concerning the implants. Earlier this month, former BAAPS President Nigel Mercer told the press:

"The BAAPS is also delighted for the Advisory Group's support for our long stated aim of re-instating a compulsory, UK implant register and for our calls for tighter regulation in the cosmetic surgery industry. To that end, we hope that the Government will support and encompass the proposed European Standard in Aesthetic Surgery Services, which is currently being reviewed and which will provide greater patent safety through out Europe."

Fatah said "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".

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Section Issues On Medicine: Women health