Cheltenham breast surgeon welcomes cosmetic surgery review
A BREAST surgeon in Cheltenham has welcomed the launch of a major review of cosmetic surgery.
The potential overhaul comes after public outcry around faulty PIP breast implants.
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who will lead the inquiry, is likely to recommend tighter rules such as making it routine practice for surgeons to register all devices – from breast implants to hip replacements – on a detailed register and requiring clinics to join a scheme, similar to that run by the travel industry, which would offer patients protection if a company went bust.
Other measures could include tightening the rules on anti-ageing dermal fillers, which require only basic safety checks and can legally be injected by anyone.
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About 500 county women were believed to have controversial implants by the now closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).
Charlie Chan, consultant breast surgeon at Nuffield Health, Cheltenham, said the review "should be welcomed by everyone involved".
He said: "The public rightly expect that their surgeons should be properly qualified and trained for the proposed operation. Doctors are obliged to inform patients fully about all the short and long-term risk of surgery and should always give ample time for individuals to make decisions about any medical treatment.
"As cosmetic surgery is not usually medically necessary, it is even more important that surgeons and clinics are scrupulous in providing proper ethical care. There should be no place for aggressive advertising and marketing practice. No one should feel under pressure to make hasty decisions about any aspect of their health."
He told said the formation of a national register for all implanted medical devices is long overdue. "This will advance significantly our understanding about the long-term efficacy and complications of all medical devices and implants, as well as providing reassurance for patients in the future," he added.
Patricia Lee, Nuffield Health Hospitals chief executive, said "This review is vital in cleaning up an industry which often falls into disrepute due to the actions of some providers. We are pleased the Government has taken on board Nuffield Health's proposal of an ABTA style bond to ensure that patients are properly protected should a company go out of business.
"We hope that by 'tightening the rules' about who can use dermal fillers, it will lead to them being reclassified as prescription only medication, in line with other medicines.