Cosmetic Surgery puts thousands at risks, warn health specialists

19 February 2015

Cosmetic Surgery puts thousands at risks, warn health specialists

Thousands of people are rushing into having cheap cosmetic surgery procedures and are not aware of the dangers and risks involved, warns a top cosmetic surgeon.

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) has launched a new campaign, Think Over Before You Make Over, urging people to think carefully before going under the knife, suggesting it is “mind boggling” why people are attracted to cut-price cosmetic surgery procedures that open the door to potential cosmetic surgery negligence.

BAPRAS research suggests that almost 25% of all people who have cosmetic surgery in the UK do not even check the credentials of the surgery and importantly are not even aware of the risks associated with their chosen procedure. Sometimes individuals are not given the proper information about the procedure so they can make up their mind about it; this is what happened in the landmark case which Mistreatment.com helped increase awareness about when Stephanie Holloway took action against Optical Express.

BAPRAS President and Consultant Plastic Surgeon Nigel Mercer was speaking to Sky News when he said: "You would check your electrician's credentials. You would check your plumber's credentials. Why on Earth wouldn't you check your surgeon's credentials?

"Deals have an enormous impact on this market. We've seen Groupon deals for cosmetic surgery and it's mind-boggling when you think about that.

"You wouldn't go for cut price brain surgery or cut price gall bladder surgery - you would want the best that you can get.

"Cosmetic surgery is not something to be taken lightly and yet thousands of people are putting themselves at serious risk by rushing in to major procedures recklessly, without consideration for their own safety."

BAPRAS went on to suggest most of the people who do rush into such surgery usually end up regretting it. 59% of patients who have an op less than two weeks after their first consultation find they are less confident in their appearance afterwards.

Poor cosmetic surgery can not only mean that money is wasted for the wrong procedure but that the appearance is harmed and requires even more surgery, sometimes far more complicated than needed because of the initial errors.

Anyone considering cosmetic surgery is urged to check that a surgeon is properly qualified and has substantial experience, as well as checking that they are on the General Medical Council's Specialist Register for the discipline in which they have trained. Mistreatment.com can help patients who want to do this as well as what their options are if the surgery they had has gone wrong.

An example of how initial cosmetic surgery can lead to further complicated treatment is the case of Suzie Adams.

Ms Adams, aged 40, underwent "a tidy-up and a tummy tuck" after three caesarean births. What appeared to be a good deal ended up leaving her disfigured and leading to septicaemia from an infected wound. It mean months of further treatment, eventually forcing her out of her job.

This case is not an isolated one. Of the many cases of wrong cosmetic surgery with Mistreatment.com is contact about, these are exactly the kind of surgery difficulties that patients have had to deal with.

"The long term effect it had on me? It devastated me," Ms Adams said.

"I hated my body - it was worse than when I started. I didn't like anybody seeing me, even my children or my partner. I felt like a freak.

"I forced myself to look in the mirror every day to remind myself of the mistake I made."

On the issue of people seeking cheaper surgery abroad, Mr Mercer added: "British people think if they go to Thailand the hospital will be the same as the hospital here.

"In fact, if you go to Belgium there are no regulations about what should be in an operating room, including oxygen and defibrillators. There are no regulations. So people need to be very careful."

Patient Care Options

Have you or a loved one wanted to raise a complaint with the NHS  regarding medical mistreatment relating to cosmetic surgery gone wrong or medical mistreatment that has been experienced at a NHS hospital or even at a private hospital? Our specialist teams can provide FREE advice about what your options are, whether you want to make a medical negligence claim or medical mistreatment complaint or simply to better understand what your patient rights. You can contact us here today for  a no-obligation and completely free conversation to discuss what happened to you.