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Call for cosmetic surgery ad crack down

Monday November 16th, 2009

Two for one offers and surgical holidays are placing people who want to look better at "great risk", experts warn today.

Media hype, "professional greed" and inadequate regulation are placing patients who want cosmetic surgery and their doctors at risk, according to a special edition of the journal Clinical Risk.

Nigel Mercer, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, writes:

"There has been a massive increase in marketing, including discount vouchers, two for one offers and holidays with surgery!

"In no other area of medicine is there such an unregulated mess.

"What is worse is that national governments would not allow it to happen in other areas of medicine. Imagine a two for one advert for general surgery? That way lies madness!"

He adds: "We have reached a stage where public expectation, driven by media hype and, dare one say, professional greed, has brought us to a 'perfect storm' in the cosmetic surgical market."

Journal editor Dr Harvey Marcovitch said it was time for proper control of cosmetic surgery advertising.

He said: "Patient safety is this journal's main aim and there can be no area of medicine where patients in the UK are more in need of protection. We need tight control of advertising of cosmetic surgery - including internet advertising.

"We need proper regulation of the industry and we need both surgeons and GPs to manage patient expectation."

Writing in the journal, Foad Nahai, president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, says: "Regulations governing the training of all cosmetic surgeons are sorely needed.

"Governments are reluctant to become involved, as they see this issue as a turf battle between various physician groups and not a public safety or patient safety issue. However, there is no question that this is a patient safety issue of paramount importance and I take our governments to task for not addressing it."

Tags: Dermatology | General Health | Traveller Health | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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