Plastic surgeons fiercely criticize new cosmetic rules

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Legislation to reform and regulate what is known as the ‘Wild West’ of the cosmetics procedures industry in order to protect patients from known risks and complications, is being called 'lip service' by certified professionals, while health minister Dan Poulter is billing it as the ‘biggest reform the industry has seen.’

The current £2.3 billion cosmetic procedures industry has expanded hugely over the recent years, and playing the lions part of non-surgical procedures, are treatments such as dermal fillers, laser hair removal and Botox, which account for nine out of ten interventions and are worth 75% of the market.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons(www.baaps.org.uk) however is fiercely condemning the lack of real action by the Department of Health despite the recommendations that followed Sir Bruce Keogh – medical director of NHS - review of the industry in 2013 in the wake of the PIP breast implants scandal.

In his review Sir Bruce said that increasing numbers of almost entirely unregulated high street clinics offering these types of services was “a crisis waiting to happen”.

The Government will be introducing legislation to make it illegal for anyone to inject dermal fillers without training and will be introducing a registry of breast implants, but plastic surgeons are extremely unhappy regarding the fact that dermal fillers will not be reclassified as prescription medicines, due to European legislation not listing them as medicines, which means they cannot be reclassified.

A recent report by BAAPS also highlighted that two-thirds of its members had treated a patient who suffered medical complications from filler treatment, and that 84% required surgery or were untreatable.

In a press release, BAAPS President Rajiv Grover said, "Frankly, we are no less than appalled at the lack of action taken - this review, not the first one conducted into the sector, represents yet another thoroughly wasted opportunity to ensure patient safety."

"With all the evidence provided by the clinical community, choosing not to reclassify fillers as medicines with immediate effect or setting up any kind of compulsory register beggars belief."

"Legislators have clearly been paying only lip service to the sector's dire warnings that dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen."

"Most shockingly of all, the fact that there is no requirement for the actual surgeon involved to obtain consent for the procedure makes a mockery of the entire process. It's business as usual in the Wild West and the message from the Government is clear: roll up and feel free to have a stab."

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