In a world where we face increasing pressures to improve our appearance or reverse the effects of ageing, more and more of us are electing to have surgery such as tummy tucks, liposuction and facelifts.
Some cosmetic treatments are available on the NHS but the majority are carried out privately. Patients are not always aware of any potential risks associated with these procedures and consequently are unable to make an informed decision before going ahead with any treatment. As a result, some patients sign the consent form and undergo risky procedures without the full knowledge of what the treatment involves – which could lead to their cosmetic surgery dreams becoming a nightmare. The consequences can be devastating, not just physically but emotionally and financially as well.
There is also a growing concern about the number of surgeons who only provide private cosmetic treatments who have nothing more than a basic qualification and are not listed on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. These surgeons are not consultants in the NHS but are still able to perform highly invasive cosmetic operations in the private sector.
To ensure the well-being of a patient is safeguarded, it is accepted that there is a need for a standardisation and regulation in the cosmetic surgery sector. The Royal College of Surgeons has set up the Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee (CSIC) which has recently consulted on several recommendations for regulation.
The CSIC proposes that those patients paying privately for a cosmetic treatment should have access to clear and unbiased information about the surgeon carrying out the procedure, the clinic, the operation itself and likely outcomes. It suggests that there should also be new standards of training for cosmetic surgeons to become fully certified and included on a publicly available register.
Steps have also been taken to restrict the advertising of cosmetic surgery and to implement a 14-day ‘cooling off’ period between the initial consultation and surgery to allow the patient to consider all the options. This allows the patients to take the time to investigate who exactly will carry out the treatment, look at the possible outcomes and weigh up the risks before making an informed decision about whether or not to undergo the surgery.
When things go wrong it can have a major impact on a patient’s health and well being as I see all the time. If you wish to pursue a claim it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. We offer free consultation to assess whether or not you have a claim for medical negligence. If you think you have received negligent treatment please call me on 01473 298180 or email [email protected]