Next PIP scandal looming

THREE years on from the faulty PIP scandal, more than 300,000 women are thought to have been affected, but a team of plastic surgeons have said the next scandal is ‘only just around the corner’.

In a statement released this week, the Coastal Cosmetic Surgery group at Nuffield Health, Chichester, said more needs to be done to regulate plastic surgery to prevent future scandals.

They said, with the number of people considering cosmetic procedures increasing, the United Kingdom still has ‘little to no regulation’.

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Consultant plastic and cosmetic surgeon at Nuffield, Jeremy Hurren said: “The PIP disaster was appalling.

“Up to 40,000 British women appear to have received non-medical grade breast implants. I’m still seeing women who are having to deal with the consequences.

“I never, ever want to see this type of scandal happen again but I fear it may if the UK still doesn’t regulate this type of surgery and particularly the administration of non-surgical procedures.”

The team is urging anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to review their options carefully and seek advice from trained doctors and nurses rather than purchasing the latest marketing offers that may turn out to be ‘too good to be true’.

In April this year, the NHS published a report by medical director Sir Keogh in response to the PIP scandal.

It recommended those administering cosmetics treatments be ‘properly qualified’ and money-off deals which acted as incentives to have surgery be stopped.

However, Charles Durrant, also a consultant plastic and cosmetic surgeon, said more needs to be done.

“I’m still seeing discounted deals and they really concern me,” he said. “No one should choose a procedure based on the cheapest price.

“The decision to undergo a cosmetic intervention is a significant one for any individual and has a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of that person.”

According to the Keogh report, existing regulations are not designed to encompass changes seen in the cosmetic surgery industry, expected to be worth £3.6bn by 2015.

Non-surgical treatments, such as dermal fillers, account for nine out of ten procedures but Sir Keogh said a person having such work has ‘no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush’.

Simon Heppell, consultant plastic and cosmetic surgeon at Nuffield, said: “It takes ten years to train as a surgeon and my colleagues and I have practised for many more, undergoing even more training and specialising to ensure we deliver the very best care and outcomes for our patients.

“A successful procedure can change someone’s life.

“A poor one can result in complications, disfigurement and ultimately can put someone’s health at risk.”