The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reported over 36,000 procedures in 2009. This is nearly a seven percent increase over 2008. The organization is a not-for-profit group that was established for the advancement of education and practice of aesthetic plastic surgery for the patients benefit. They have a strict set of rules and regulations that members must follow. There are surgeons who perform cosmetic surgeries in the UK, who are not members of the BAAPS. Some of these surgeons are not regulated and BAAPS is calling on the government to change that.
There was a One Show episode that focused on cosmetic surgery. It revealed that there were a lot of false PR claims and corrupt practices performed by plastic surgeons, and that there is no regulation preventing it. In the article ‘Minimizing Risk in Aesthetic Surgery’ Foad Nahai, of the International Society of Aesthetic
Plastic Surgeons, said, “Regulations governing the training of all cosmetic surgeons are sorely needed. Governments are reluctant to become involved, as they see this issue as a dispute between various physician groups and not a public safety issue.”
BAAPS’s Nigel Mercer could not disagree more with this reluctance. He believes that regulation of the cosmetic surgery field is a matter of public safety and thus should be taken on by the government. In a paper titled ‘Clinical Risk in Aesthetic Surgery’ he 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 regulations and guidelines that must be followed by their plastic surgeons. In ‘France Sets Standards for Practice of Aesthetic Surgery’ a French surgeon lists some of these regulations as: -surgical procedures can only be undertaken by surgeons who are registered specialists and deemed competent -neither possession of a general medical degree nor that the practitioner is experienced are sufficient qualifications -a ban on all forms and methods of publicity and advertising, direct or indirect, in
whatever form, including the internet.
Many people believe that regulations similar to these should be implemented in the UK. The law in the UK presently says that , as long as the patients gives permission for the procedure than that surgeon can perform it, whether they are qualified or not. The BAAPS believes that this is unacceptable. Mr. Mercer said, “We have seen what a lack of regulation has done for banks and for the British parliament. There is a British Potato Council so why not an OFFCos [official cosmetic surgery regulator]? Surgeons can do more harm than potatoes….!”