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
    -2

    Comment number 183.

    180.lelboy

    I agree they should have to pick up the costs themselves when it goes wrong. But also based on this I think obese people should be forced to partially cover the cost of their care resulting from them having so little self-discipline that they swell to a gargantuan size. My later belief seems slightly less popular.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 182.

    #181 Quite. While private clinics should put right what they can put right if you have a genuine medical emergency (like infection after a boob job) then the NHS is the only provider of treatment. Even if you CAN afford to pay for private there isn't any private A+E facilities that can treat septic shock etc.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 181.

    @180.

    As PatBenatar where do you stop? What about people who self harm or those with eating disorders, my friend works in a anorexia ward dessperately trying to keep people who refuse to eat alive. What abouty sports accidents? - biking and sking are very dangerous.

    Yes CS is often unnescessary, but legislating what the NHS can fix is the first step to full privatisation and we don't want that.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 180.

    162.
    Hywel By all means don't stand in their way - but let them be aware that their vanity and foolishness shouldn't have the rest of us - via NHS - putting right their silliness at the cost to NHS patients. Legitimate, health related cosmetic surgery yes, but not funding for putting right the self-inflicted damages caused to the vain and silly. Pay for yourself for copying TOWIE & not us paying

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 179.

    177. SFC_NM
    I am 21 and working, I don't think my taxes should pay to pick up the pieces of Middle Aged people (As these are the ones that can afford Plastic Surgery) when it goes wrong. When girls my age gets plastic surgery...
    --
    Girls your age? So not middle aged at all then. Your 2nd sentence neatly contradicts your first

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 178.

    Obviously the NHS exists to right health wrongs, be they self-inflicted or otherwise. In the case of the PIP implants, the NHS removed them, which was a medical safeguard. It was not recommended they be replaced when privately fitted as a legit medical claim would have resulted in NHS implantation rather than private.

    Regulate the crap out of them as they do with other implantable devices.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 177.

    I am 21 and working, I don't think my taxes should pay to pick up the pieces of Middle Aged people (As these are the ones that can afford Plastic Surgery) when it goes wrong. When girls my age gets plastic surgery or even discuss it alarm bells start ringing in my head and I walk away.

    Plastic surgery and Fake tans do NOT make people more attractive and I wish people would see that

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 176.

    The problem came to light in March 2010, long before December 2011, when only the heightened cancer fears (resulting from the French case) meant that public unease could no longer be contained (globally), so governments were forced to react. But the knowns and unknowns both still demand a stronger precautionary approach.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 175.

    169. "Where exactly should the NHS draw the line with self-inflicted injuries?"

    Who says they should "draw a line" at all?

    I dread to think what those complaining about women wanting to get botched surgery fixed would think of some of the self-harm cases I saw way back when. But the NHS dilligently patches people up, knowing they'll be back. They don't begrudge it, so why should we?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 174.

    169.Liverpool_Dave
    6 Minutes ago
    It would be very interesting to see just how many of you posting "I don't want my tax to pay for repairs" e.t.c. are actually smokers. No doubt you would be happy to receive NHS treatment should you ever get lung cancer

    Difference is smokers pay 4x as much directly in tax as they cost the NHS.

  • Comment number 173.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 172.

    Let the buyer beware.

    If I make a stupid decision on anything else I buy I either make sure I'm insured (just in case I need it) or pay to have things repaired out of my own pocket.

    All the government should do is make it clear the NHS isn't there to rescue private medical practices and regulate those who practice medicine privately. Perhaps an ABTA type fund should be created to this end.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 171.

    The govt should avoid forever issuing warnings to protect end-users or bailing out those who don't take steps to avoid unnecessary risk

    People take risks when they drink, smoke, eat, catch a bus, bungee jump, ski, catch a plane, etc etc.

    Some activities are essential, some aren't.
    Hence the govt should only protect patients treated by the NHS, who I trust only treat when necessary.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 170.

    #169 Agreed. I've said this several times before but heart disease, cancer, broken bones (playing football, falling off a ladder) are all 'self inflicted' to a greater or lesser degree. Indeed if you catch swine flu it could be argued that you should have worn a mask on the bus and sprayed yourself in alcohol gel!

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 169.

    It would be very interesting to see just how many of you posting "I don't want my tax to pay for repairs" e.t.c. are actually smokers. No doubt you would be happy to receive NHS treatment should you ever get lung cancer.

    Where exactly should the NHS draw the line with self-inflicted injuries?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 168.

    My bother had a double mastectomy and reconstruction in 2003 following recurrence of breast cancer. It has turned out that the implants were PIP. She will go in on Monday for op to remove and replace but we do not know if they are in tact. Very nerve wracking and heartbreaking as this was a big part of mums self confidence and recovery in the first place.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 167.

    166. PatBenatar

    Then add to that the perversity of comments saying that these women have low self-esteem and should "get a life" or "grow up", and it's pretty consistent with misogyny.
    +++
    Calm down dear.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 166.

    159. "many people get hurt doing stupid, unnecessary things and they don't get all the hate reserved for these women."

    Quite. Then add to that the perversity of comments saying that these women have low self-esteem and should "get a life" or "grow up", and it's pretty consistent with misogyny.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 165.

    Probably 90% of cosmetic surgery is unjustified and unethical. No true medical professional would have anything to do with it. Every single procedure should be audited and subject to approval by the authorities.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 164.

    111. ShadowProclaimation
    Peter_Sym There's virtually no 'vanity' cosmetic surgery on the NHS.
    Oh Dear you really don't understand the system - you go to your GP, tell him you can't go on without XYZ and feel emotionally damaged at being this way and hey presto you are refered.
    --
    Which if it were true would bankrupt all the private clinics. You're talking utter nonsense

 

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