Is enough being done to tackle the cosmetic cowboys?

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The rise and fall of cosmetic procedures amongst men and women across the UK has been well documented in recent years. With the likes of reality TV shows such as ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, ‘Love Island’ and ‘Botched’ become increasingly popular it is no wonder people are become more body conscious and intrigued into what cosmetic surgery and enhancements can offer.

Like any form of surgery there are risks involved no matter how small or large the procedure may be; however, these risks are being exacerbated by the rise of the so called ‘cosmetic cowboys’. People offering procedures such as Botox and filler injections without medical training or licence – tend to be the most common, so is enough really being done to tack the issue?

Since 2011 there has been a 41% rise in women from the United States having a cosmetic procedure and it is believed that the UK is following a similar trend. It has been reported recently that a 23-year-old nurse from the North West had a severe reaction after having a filler treatment, at an increasingly popular type of gathering known as a “Botox party” [1]. It appears that incidents like this are still common despite the recent PIP breast implants scandal, which affected a staggering 47,000 women in the UK.

In June 2016, new guidelines for cosmetic procedures were introduced to try and tackle this rise in ‘cosmetic cowboys’. Part of the guidelines discussed the promotional offers that are used to encourage people to go through with a procedure, or have more than one done at a time. These are offers such as two for one and very low prices. Although these guidelines were put in place there is actually no legislation in place to stop this from happening. There are no safeguards in place for people looking to save a bit of money but still get the celebrity look, and it really is in the hands of patients to do their own research and ensure that everything is above board before proceeding.

How to protect yourself

If you are thinking about going ahead with a cosmetic procedure it is important to investigate the procedure and the health professional carrying it out. We have come up with just a few of the things you may want to think about before deciding whether a procedure is right for you:

  1. Be wary of promotions

As previously mentioned, promotional offers such as two for one procedures are currently being advised against by the General Medical Council’s new guidelines so be careful when you are offered something like this. Similarly, if the person offering the service is charging a lot less than their competitors – there could be a negative reason for this.

  1. Use a registered health professional

Always make sure the person carrying out the procedure is a registered health professional who has the necessary qualifications. If you are in doubt, you are well within your right to ask for proof of this before going ahead.

  1. Avoid ‘Botox parties’ and other non-clinical settings

Whether you are planning breast surgery or simple lip fillers, you are still undergoing a surgical procedure and it is important that these are carried out in sterile environment. People who carry out cosmetic enhancements from their home may well fall below the standards you would expect from a clinical setting.

  1. Understand the risks involved

No matter how big or small the procedure there are always risks involved. It is important that the professional carrying it out outlines the risks and is open and honest about them. If they claim that there is no risk to you then this is simply not true and you are probably best looking elsewhere.

  1. Consent Forms

A way to ensure that a surgeon or health professional is true to their word and is honest about risks, is to have consent forms in place. Insist that you would like to sign a consent form if you are not presented with one and read through the wording carefully. Ensure you get a copy, as a consent form could be a crucial in the event something goes wrong, relating to something you were not made aware of beforehand.

How can The Medical Negligence Experts help?

The latest figures reveal that over 28,000 men and women across the UK have some form of cosmetic surgery or enhancements every year [3]. With that in mind, it is almost certain that there will be a significant number of cosmetic surgery errors where the patient will be entitled to compensation.

At The Medical Negligence Experts, we are all too familiar with some of the types of negligence that some people go through. With a large panel of expert solicitors who deal with these types of cases on a regular basis, we are in an excellent position to discuss any issues you may have had when having cosmetic surgery. We can talk you through the process and tell you there and then whether you have a valid claim for compensation.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of a cosmetic surgery or enhancement error, get in touch with our team today.

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