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
    +1

    Comment number 223.

    Reconstructive surgery is fine, indeed essential, and breast reduction and other procedures which lead to an overall physical health improvement are OK. But for anything else. Better counselling and support would be better. We certainly don't want 16 year olds demanding boob and nose jobs as birthday presents. Better to get people comfortable with how they are.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 222.

    still the tories fail to admit the truth private health care only cares about profits not health. We saw that clearly with the PIP debarcle when private health companies reffussed to correct errors they made and expect thje public to pick up the bills for their mistakes and greed.
    health should come before profits shame tories only value their health and the profits they make of others misery

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 221.

    I believe reconstructive surgery should be available on the NHS but not cosmetic surgery. Somebody left with swaths of skin after weight loss should be treated because of the both the health and psychological effects of having it left. I would love some work done and will when I can afford it.

  • Comment number 220.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 219.

    If you are not happy with what you have and wish to have surgery please do so,but please dont expect the NHS to pay for it.if you have had a breast removed because of cancer i can understand to have it done on the NHS.but just to look good you pay for it.h'em he'm could i have a penis enlargement please.

  • Comment number 218.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 217.

    I'll wager the cosmetic surgery industry has me it's match with Evan Davies, a definite face for radio!

  • Comment number 216.

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

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 215.

    If people wish to have cosmetic surgery for vanity reasons that is up to them. However if the surgery goes wrong in some way the person should sue the private surgery that carried out the operation and not expect the NHS to step in. The NHS does not have the funds to ride to the rescue every time someone's boob job doesn't turn out as they'd hoped.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 214.

    Your body, your choice. So long as you are aware of the possible consequences. Personally, i find fake boobs utterly abhorrent; id take smaller real ones any day. I'm never going to get anything done, and i doubt my (hopefully) future wife will either.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 213.

    It is a sad reflection on society, almost certainly led by the media, that so many women want to enlarge their breasts and thicken up their lips. Women's liberation people must be going mad wondering where they went wrong; surely a woman is more than her chest size?

    I think the point has been well made that the NHS should not be involved in correcting erors made elsewhere by private clinics.

  • Comment number 212.

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

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 211.

    I'm not opposed to cosmetic surgery as long as its used to remove those God awful tattoos'

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 210.

    Plastic surgery is a relatively new science, pioneered by the so-called "Guinea-pigs" in WW2...mainly RAF types who'd suffered horrendous burns. Cosmetic surgery is even newer. It takes at least a generation for the consequences of such tinkering with nature to become understood. Pert silicone breasts at 25 may look good...but things have a habit of migrating south. Think it through!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 209.

    204.
    ParaJack Absolutely - if you're silly enough to think the improvement will "fix" you.
    However, the issue is about US paying for their foolishness when things go wrong: we shouldn't.
    If you choose to do something that the NHS won't provide (for logical reasons), then it should be your financial responsibility from start to finish, and not ours.
    They chose a course of action

  • Comment number 208.

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

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 207.

    195.
    And_here_we_go_again
    196.
    kendler85
    You both know very well that there are some clinically very depressed people & not only because they may or may not have poor "body image". Chronic depression isn't cured by a "boob-job". The TOWIE reference relates to silly, gullible people who have been programmed to think they're somehow inadequate unless they fit the stereotype. How about thyroid?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 206.

    Here's your problem.

    A cosmetic surgeon can take a perfectly healthy, normal looking person and find something they can have done. I've watched it on television where people who would never consider it have been told they could have their nose trimmed, chin lifted, boobs firmed up etc.

    GPs, will sign you off with depression with little investigation.

    The two together is the problem.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 205.

    201.Peter_Sym
    I agree. The NHS shouldn't be providing cosmetic surgery, but there's no reason why GP's can't get involved to assess whether the procedure is safe/appropriate for the individual. I suspect a lot of people walking out of clinics with slightly straighter noses or larger breasts would have been much better served by a programme of professional counselling.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 204.

    At the end of the day we all want to look as good as we can, some are natural blessed with good looks and and good body, but if you're in the majority that aren't and you're aware of the risks involved with surgery and you can afford to do something about it then why not?

 

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