Unregulated Liposuction – Warnings
Liposuction has for many years been an extremely popular Cosmetic Surgery procedure in the UK, however when searched for on the internet, a potential patient may be bombarded with discount vouchers, advertising 20% off and promising reduced second procedures, or £400 off when a free consultation is booked. In addition there are also a large number of “pop up” adverts, encouraging an impulse decision to book a consultation online there and then. This rash decision can be extremely dangerous without first thoroughly researching the Plastic Surgeon or clinic offering the Cosmetic Surgery procedure.
According the UK organisation BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons), demand for Liposuction procedures in the UK last year ie: body shaping procedures such as Liposuction and Tummy Tucks decreased by 14% and 12% respectively. Perhaps this was inspired by last years Olympic feats, encouraging people to get back to the gym.
Despite this, there remains a massive demand for both the surgery itself and prices to become fiercely competitive within the market place. Unfortunately what many people do not realise is that the desire for cheap or so-called ‘all inclusive’ surgery deals, has stimulated an unregulated market where doctors are calling themselves “Cosmetic Doctors” and who are trained in medicine but not in surgery.
These “Cosmetic Doctors” are performing Cosmetic Surgery procedures, but they are not adequately qualified to do so. Despite government recommendations such as the recent Keogh report that they should be banned, more than half of the top 50 aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery providers still offer promotional deals, promoting freebies such as photo shoots. The research published at the annual meeting of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in London, also found that many deals had an expiry date, with statements such as ‘book by tomorrow’. Again this type of marketing can encourage patients to make an ill informed or rushed decision into Cosmetic Surgery.
There are risks and benefits with all Cosmetic Surgery procedures, but when carried out by a doctor who has not undertaken appropriate training, those risks significantly increase. All anti-ageing procedures experienced a double digit rise in popularity last year, according to the BAAPS. Non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as Botox, Dermal fillers and Liposuction are increasingly being offered by so called walk-in clinics, spas and beauty salons on the high street. Experts have recently warned consumers that although many anti-ageing treatments are categorised as non-surgical cosmetic procedures, it is still crucially important to select only fully qualified and experienced doctors, with appropriate expert knowledge and training.
The Royal College of Surgeons recently published landmark standards, recommending that only doctors with a postgraduate surgical qualification should be performing procedures such as Liposuction, whereas the industry appears to be currently dominated by non-surgically qualified doctors performing Liposuction.
There is even a 2 day course teaching doctors how to perform Vaser Lipo, where in contrast it takes a Consultant Plastic Surgeon a minimum of 6 years to complete training. Such courses are proving popular with GP’s who will attend such a 2 day course, purchase any necessary Lipo equipment and start offering treatment!
It is imperative now more than ever, when considering Liposuction, that thorough research is carried out prior to selecting a fully qualified Cosmetic Surgeon at a regulated clinic. This helps to ensure that a high standard of patient care is delivered, plus it is vital that potential patients are not tempted by cut price offers, “free Botox” short-lived offers or gimmicks. Otherwise, what may appear to be a good deal in the short term may have long term catastrophic consequences……
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