The start of tighter controls on cosmetic surgery?

Woman looking in mirror

Following the recent publication of Sir Bruce Keogh’s (NHS Medical Director), report into how cosmetic surgery is regulated, which called for more safeguards in the sector, plastic surgeons are to bring in a financial protection scheme for their patients.  The report was in response to the recent PIP breast implant scandal.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons represents almost all of the UK's NHS plastic surgeons in private practice and they have worked with Lloyds of London to create a policy that offers safeguards to patients whose cosmetic treatment is carried out by one of their members.

The Aesthetic Surgery Commitment covers corrective treatment of all the most common complications of surgery including infection, bleeding and nerve injury and it will also cover capsular contracture. In the past women who have undergone corrective surgery for capsular contracture following breast augmentation have been required to pay for it themselves. Many complications occur a month or longer after the procedure, so the policy automatically activates on the 29th day after the operation and remains live for two years.

Other recommendations made in the report include compulsory registration and better training, a ban of 'distasteful' cut deal prices and offers and a move for facial fillers to be prescription only after a warning that filler jabs were subject to no more controls than a bottle of floor cleaner and concerns that anybody, at anytime, anywhere can give a filler jab to anyone – a practice Sir Bruce described as a 'crisis waiting to happen.'

Is this a welcome start of tighter regulation of cosmetic surgery which will rein in cosmetic surgery cowboys or a one-off move? What other area areas of the industry need better regulation? How do we best protect patients financially as well as medically if they elect to have cosmetic treatment?