‘Don’t be swayed by flashy adverts’ warn plastic surgeons

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Plastic surgeons are warning us to ‘choose a clinician, not a clinic’ in light of government plans to rate cosmetic surgeries — and then publish the results online.

Welcoming the news this week that Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors will not only inspect but also grade clinics offering cosmetic treatment, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) are urging those of us seeking treatments to ‘remain extremely vigilant’.

They state that there is a huge difference between rating clinics and individual surgeons and that patients may still come unstuck if they fail to do their research first.

Consultant plastic surgeon and former President of the BAAPS Douglas McGeorge, said: ‘At the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, we welcome — and indeed, have been calling for during the last decade — as much government scrutiny as is possible of the cosmetic sector.

‘This is an arena where regulation has historically been lax and many practitioners can engage in procedures they are not trained or even qualified to perform.’

He added: ‘However, it is important to stress that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates facilities — that is, clinics rather than clinicians. Their remit entails a facility or practice’s aspects such as equipment, record-keeping and administrative areas, so we still call for the public to remain extremely vigilant of — and query — their surgeon's experience and accreditations.

‘At the BAAPS, we have always stressed not to be swayed by flashy adverts or offers and to “choose a surgeon, not a clinic”.

‘Members of the BAAPS must undergo strict criteria to join such as a number of substantive consultant posts and thus represent the vast majority, if not all. NHS-trained plastic surgeons specifically trained in aesthetic or cosmetic practice.’

Cosmetic surgeries are to be rated on a scale of ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’ that will be published online in a government bid to crack down on rogue clinics.

The scope of does not include non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels.

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