Cosmetic surgery is a huge decision. Jeyaram Srinivasan, a top consultant plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon from the Beardwood Hospital in Blackburn said that this type of surgery is a ‘life changing decision not to be taken lightly’. While he says that complications are rare, things can still go wrong, and surgery may not always turn out as expected.
Even though complications are rare, just two years ago Denise Hendry, wife of famous footballer Colin Hendry, died due to complications related to liposuction. Her surgery, performed by Dr. Gustav Aniansson at Broughton Park Hospital, resulted in 9 punctures to her bowel. The surgery took place in 2002, and she died in 2009 after undergoing many surgeries to try to repair the mistakes.
Because surgery results in complications or unexpected results, it is best to do a lot of research, and to think about your surgery in detail before undergoing any procedures. He said: ‘Women and men should not let their eagerness for change overpower their ability to make a responsible choice about their surgeon, hospital and desired procedure’
The main reason for his concern is that cosmetic surgeries are on the rise. BMI Healthcare facility in Preston New Road has seen an over 100 percent increase in those asking about procedures this year. There has been an over 200 percent increase in inquiries about gynaecomastia, or man-boob surgeries. Also, there has been an almost 200 percent increase in inquiries related to breast augmentation.
With all of these increases, it is possible that many people are rushing into having cosmetic surgery. There are many considerations before electing to go under the knife. Credentials should be checked; the consultant surgeon should be on the General Medical Council specialist register and a member in good standing of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. They should also be experienced in whatever procedure chosen.
Dr. Srinivasan also advises that you talk to your friends and family, as well as your general practitioner for advice. Your GP probably has experience with others who have had similar procedures as yourself. Cosmetic surgery can be a good decision, but do not rush in to anything before having all the necessary facts.
The plastic surgery field has grown very quickly in the UK. In fact, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reported over 36,000 procedures in 2009. This is nearly a seven percent increase over 2008. But not all surgeons in the UK are a part of the BAAPS. A broadcast of the One Show uncovered some of these ‘none member surgeons’ performing bad practices.
The One Show episode focused on cosmetic surgery and found that there is no regulating body to keep bad practices from occurring. In the hospitals the General Medical Council and the Care Quality Commission regulate the doctors. The Independent Healthcare Advisory Service (IHAS) is talking with the government about starting a joint regulation but many people do not believe this is enough. The problem with the IHSA is that their code of practice is not mandatory and thus is not enforceable throughout the entire field of plastic surgery.
Members of BAAPS have a strict set of regulations that must be followed. The organization is pushing to have all surgeons that perform cosmetic procedures to be held to the same standards. Nigel Mercer, president of BAAPS, in a paper titled ‘Clinical Risk in Aesthetic Surgery’ said , “There has been a massive increase in ‘marketing’, including discount vouchers, 2-for-one offers and holidays with surgery. In no other area of medicine is there such an un-regulated mess. What is worse is that the national governments would not allow it to happen in other areas of medicine. Imagine a ’2-for-1′ advert for general surgery? That way lies madness.”
France has instituted strict laws which limit who is able to do procedures. These laws state that a general medical degree is not sufficient to perform surgeries and advertisement of plastic surgery is also tightly regulated. These are regulations that many would like to see instituted in the UK. Dr. Harvey Marcovitch, editor of a UK-based journal called Clinical Risk, said, “We need proper regulation of the industry and we need both surgeons and GPs to manage patient expectation.”
Goodsurgeonguide.co.uk is a website designed to help people learn more about plastic surgery. The site encourages people to carefully consider their choice of surgeon and make sure that they are respected and trusted. In response to the episode of the One Show, the managing director of this website, Christina Clogg, said, “We are not surprised that the One Show unearthed such bad practice at leading surgery groups in last night’s expose, it is one of the reasons why we developed the site and has lead us now, more than ever, to believe that the whole industry needs regulating.” Choosing a plastic surgeon needs to be based on more than just saving money. Finding a good and respected surgeon is necessary, because, as Ms. Clogg says, “[you] cannot put a price on good health and a safe procedure.”