MoS campaign highlights dangers of cowboy cosmetic surgeons

As one of the least regulated industry’s, the cosmetic industry is experiencing increased scrutiny into their practices courtesy of one of the UK’s largest tabloids, The Mail on Sunday. Having conducted a survey from over 500 clinicians and 2,000 women, the newspaper found some interesting revelations which it chose to expose to coincide with the cosmetic industry’s largest plastic surgery conference, the CCR Expo (Clinical Cosmetic and Reconstructive Expo).

The newspaper is calling for tougher regulation and hopes to highlight how easy it is for inexperienced and sometimes unscrupulous individuals, so called ‘cosmetic cowboys’, to set up clinics and conduct intricate and often complex procedures with only minimal knowledge and experience.

According to the survey, unsurprisingly, both doctors and patients want increased specialist training for cosmetic surgeons above and beyond what they receive through the NHS.

The survey revealed that overwhelmingly, medical clinicians felt that newly qualified consultants should not be able to practice straight away as they didn’t believe they were competent enough to perform difficult and often dangerous operations like boob jobs and facelifts. Only 7% of those polled felt that the NHS training provided was sufficient to start operating as a cosmetic surgeon. The shocking truth is that there is currently no medical requirement for a consultant to complete further specialised cosmetic training after qualifying.

The Mail on Sunday survey also highlighted that approximately a third of those polled felt cosmetic practitioners, whether its invasive or non invasive, should have to complete three months’ training before being qualified to inject cosmetic fillers or Botox or carry out laser treatment for acne, hair removal and skin rejuvenation.

The majority of doctors polled believed that all cosmetic practitioners should be members of professional bodies such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the British College of Aesthetic Medicine and should receive their training through these respected organisations. It is hoped that by doing this it would drastically reduce the number of cowboy cosmetic surgeons being able to start up clinics and also increase the quality of the treatment being given to an increasing number of patients requesting cosmetic procedures.

Of the 2,000 women polled, three-quarters said they would feel more confident having cosmetic surgery if cosmetic practitioners had taken a special qualification in cosmetic practices on top of their NHS training and also the patient response was for a minimum of 6 months training for non invasive surgeries such as fillers and Botox.

The Health Education England (HEE) is currently reviewing the training for non-surgical procedures and has just released some initial proposals.

A cosmetic practitioner must;

  • undertake a minimum number of training hours before practicing
  • receive training on how to spot patients with mental health issues
  • be shadowed by experienced clinicians until they are deemed competent to inject patients on their own

There is currently no official cosmetic surgeon/clinic register for people to check the credibility of their practitioner/clinic. There is, however, an organisation called Save Face which has compiled a voluntary register of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners who have been vetted by doctors to help provide some confidence when selecting a clinic.

If you have been affected by poor cosmetic treatment, invasive or non invasive, then we have experienced solicitors who can help you.  Cosmetic surgery claims is a specialist area at Claimant Law and we can discuss your individual case with you and help you find out if you have a viable claim.  Call our specialist solicitors now on 01625 506655 or complete our enquiry form.