A plastic surgeons’ group in the UK is calling for tighter regulations on the country’s “Wild West” industry in the aftermath of the PIP breast implant scandal. Roughly 40,000 British women received breast implants manufactured by the now-defunct company, which used industrial-grade silicone in its breast implants. Amidst public outrage, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has called for a six-point plan to combat industry excesses.
According to BAAPS president Fazel Fatah, who recently spoke out in an interview with the Independent, the plastic surgery industry has been marred by a rogue attitude:
“We have warned against the unrealistic expectations set by reality ‘makeover’ shows and against crass competition prizes promising ‘mummy makeovers’ and body overhauls. In no other area of surgery would one encounter two-for-one offers. The pendulum has swung too far.”
The association has proposed a six-point plan to counter these rogue practices:
- Ban all advertising for cosmetic procedures. Prescription medications in the UK may not be advertised and Fatah argues that this should also apply to cosmetic medical procedures.
- Establish an implant registry to track all types of silicone implants.
- Reclassify dermal fillers as medicines and limit their usage. While only about a dozen fillers are approved in the United States by the FDA, British authorities have approved over 100 different types of fillers.
- Compulsory registration of practitioners in all aspects of aesthetic medicine and lasers.
- Mandatory annual safety audits.
- Revalidation and mystery shopping.
These proposed measures have met with significant support, although some groups are calling for a more measured response. The Independent Healthcare Advisory Service, an industry body, says that it opposes a wholesale ban on advertising, arguing instead for responsible and ethical advertising.