This article was published on January 28th, 2015
Cosmetic surgery certification is step in right direction but not robust enough according to industry leaders. Ever since the PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) scandal, when thousands of women recieved inferior silicon implants, there has been increasing pressure on the cosmetic surgery industry to regulate itself.
Stories in the press with regards to botched cosmetic surgeries are increasing, both surgical and non-surgical, and the Royal College of Surgeons has responded by introducing a new certification process which will certify surgeons for specific procedures.
In an effort to prevent surgeons from ‘having a go’ at procedures they have no specialist training in, such as breast augmentations or rhinoplasty, the RCS has proposed that surgeons must receive certification on specific procedures prior to offering it to patients. By going onto their certification register it allows the general public to see if their surgeon is certified and therefore a specialist in their chosen surgery.
The RCS hopes certification rules will prevent surgeons from performing cosmetic surgery outside of their speciality and other industry representatives for aesthetic plastic surgeons such as The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) support the idea but it has been criticised for not going far enough.
The certification will only be voluntary at this stage and the argument is that it will only make a real difference if it is “mandatory and policed”.
Rajiv Grover, a Baaps spokesman and former president, said: “This will only protect the public if the recommendations are mandatory and policed.
“It is essential that the public know who to go to when seeking a qualified cosmetic surgeon, but also, to be assured that the quality of their outcome will meet accepted standards, and particularly to meet their own expectations.”
Stephen Cannon, the vice-president of the College commented: “Operating outside of speciality is a big problem in private practice as money is involved, so we hope to rectify that.
“There will be no concerns if you’re already an established surgeon doing extremely well. We really need it to be mandatory; we need every plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon to be involved in it and be regulated and certified”
“But it’ll stop the general practitioner doing the nose job, it’ll stop the dermatologist lifting someone’s breasts, it’ll stop all that cowboy behaviour which goes on.”
Nigel Mercer, the president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said: “This tightening of existing regulations will go a long way to help prospective patients and employing clinics recognise high-quality surgical expertise, leading to improved patient safety.”
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