Cosmetic surgery views sought after breast implant scare

 

Sir Bruce Keogh, head of the review: "There are some pretty grubby practices going on"

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People are being asked for their views on the cosmetic surgery industry after the recent PIP scandal, where thousands of women were given breast implants containing substandard material.

The review, requested by the health secretary, will look at whether tighter regulation is needed in England.

And it will ask if people are given enough information about surgery.

About 7,000 women in England are having checks for faulty breast implants and hundreds have now had them removed.

Although the unauthorised silicone filler used in the PIP breast implants is not thought to be toxic or cancer-causing, there were safety concerns.

Start Quote

I am concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is and do not consider the lifelong implications it can have”

End Quote Sir Bruce Keogh NHS Medical Director

They were found to have double the rupture rate of other implants.

Around 47,000 women in the UK have PIP breast implants, mostly done privately rather than on the NHS.

Lessons to learn

The problem came to light at the end of 2011, shortly after the French government recommended all women with PIP implants have them removed as a precaution.

But there were warnings made by surgeons to UK authorities about adverse effects for many years before this.

Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, who is leading the English review which will report in early 2013, said: "The recent problems with PIP breast implants have shone a light on the cosmetic surgery industry.

"Many questions have been raised, particularly around the regulation of clinics, whether all practitioners are adequately qualified, how well people are advised when money is changing hands, aggressive marketing techniques, and what protection is available when things go wrong.

"I am concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is and do not consider the lifelong implications it can have. That's why I have put together this review committee to advise me in making recommendations to government on how we can better protect people who choose to have surgery or cosmetic interventions.

Cost an issue

"We want to hear views from everyone, particularly people who have experience of the cosmetic surgery industry or of other cosmetic interventions - good and bad - so we can learn what works best."

A poll by ComRes of 1,762 people shows that many people consider the cost of surgery more important than the qualifications of the people doing it or how they will be looked after.

Two-thirds of those questioned considered cost as a factor when deciding whether or not to have cosmetic surgery. Half said they would take the qualifications of their doctor into consideration and less than half would consider the quality of their aftercare when reaching a decision.

And as a result of the PIP breast implant scandal, almost half of women who said they would have considered cosmetic surgery before, say that they are now less likely to have it.

 

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  • rate this
    -15

    Comment number 43.

    Personally, I think it's right that if someone is injured by a faulty product, they should be able to get help on the NHS. The last thing I want is an NHS that has to decide whether you deserve to be ill or injured before you're treated. If someone breaks their leg doing something stupid, it would be appalling to withhold treatment.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 42.

    @34storminateacup
    I wouldn't go for an implant. At my advanced age I only take Viagra to stop weeing on my shoes.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 41.

    Breast enhancement is vanity and the cost should be met by the patient.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 40.

    The solution to this is obviously same as the Aussie cigarette story. All women should be covered in the same identical plain packaging so it's impossible to work out what body shape they have.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 39.

    @31. Bill Walker
    "A "boyish" figure can actually lead in some cases to clinical depression"

    I have moobs. I don't see the NHS offering to pay to have them removed. The NHS won't even provide treatments to other health issue I have, so what chance of cosmetics?

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 38.

    @31. Bill Walker
    "A "boyish" figure can actually lead in some cases to clinical depression"

    While this is true, I would argue that it shouldn't. It is the media and other women that promote the idea that large breasts are a necessity not men as many girls wanting them think.

    These girl need couselling, only after that, if it hasn't helped, should they be able to go under the knife.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 37.

    About time too. This is a cowboy industry preying on the insecure.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 36.

    Being part of a family that has been affected by breast cancer and all the surgeries and treatments associated with that, I firmly believe if you choose to have surgery because of vanity, then it is your choice,but do not expect the NHS to fix any problems free of charge. Do women realise that you can't check properly for lumps etc when you have breast implants?

  • rate this
    +33

    Comment number 35.

    Let's not bring "medical reasons" in, otherwise people will come up with "depression" or "feeling judged by others" when they have too small breasts.
    Are you alive? Are you physically fit and well? House and shelter? Yes? Go away now, pay for your own stuff, get over your own problems, like the rest of us.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 34.

    31.Bill Walker
    Just now
    Some women have breast implants, not for vanity, but for psychological reasons. A "boyish" figure can actually lead in some cases to clinical depression. Also, be honest chaps, if there was a male enhancement implant available would there be any shortage of customers?

    ******
    I think you've let a "little" secret slip there Bill.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 33.

    I think we must realise that anyone wanting cosmetic surgery (and not needing it) must have some form of mental disorder that should be treated. An industry that panders to this need can only exacerbate any problems; not unlike attempting to address gambling addiction by opening a casino!

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 32.

    It amazes me that people put their health at risk for the sake of saving a few quid.

    Cosmetic surgery for medical reasons should always be the priority.

    Personally I've never understood people's desire for bigger breasts or a newly shaped nose.

  • rate this
    -24

    Comment number 31.

    Some women have breast implants, not for vanity, but for psychological reasons. A "boyish" figure can actually lead in some cases to clinical depression. Also, be honest chaps, if there was a male enhancement implant available would there be any shortage of customers?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 30.

    Everyone who has costmetic surgery must remember that you will only get what you pay for.
    If you pay £1,000 in one clinic and another charges £3,000 for the same thing then its not rocket science to work out that something isnt right.
    Surely, its not that important if you have a few wrinkles or a sag here or there. Thats what makes YOU unique.
    Love yourself for who you really are.
    Rant over

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 29.

    Cosmetic surgery should be banned for anything other than reconstruction and other medical reasons. I feel insecure and depressed because I don’t look and airbrushed almost cartoon like character is not a medical reason.
    My tax should never pay for someone's superficial celebrity wannabe vanity !!!... or to fix up the inevitable freak like consequences .

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 28.

    If you go to a private chop-shop for cosmetic surgery, the chop-shop should pay if it all goes wrong, NOT the taxpayer. If the chop-shop can't pay, see a solicitor, there are plenty of ambulance chasers out there to, 'help'!

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 27.

    Plastic surgery has the ability to transform the lives of people who, either because of a genetic condition, or as a result of trauma, have suffered disfigurement.

    That should be free on the NHS.

    Those electing for cosmetic surgery should, as part of the cost and conditions of the procedure, be required to take out an insurance policy that would cover the cost of future corrective surgery.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 26.

    #14 Appreciate your honesty. If the UK based industry had an ABTA type scheme as per my post #17, people would be less likely to go abroad for this type of work where there would be no established safety net. It might have helped save you from yourself, as your friend might not have gone!

    #22 Did the clinics which used PIP never wonder why they were much cheaper than any others??

  • rate this
    -15

    Comment number 25.

    My implants have just been scanned and have ruptured and leaked. I have silicone in my lymph nodes. These were done by Medinet through the NHS. They now have to be removed and replaced in a year when my body has calmed down. Unsure how they are going to get the leaked silicone out though. Very worried about the long term effects of the silicone. Someone should be held accountable.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 24.

    What happened to growing old gracefully? What a shallow lot we are.

 

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