14 July 2009

Many reputable cosmetic surgery clinics have been calling for increased regulations on the industry for some time now, and now the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has appealed for buyers to check the credentials of their surgeons.Nigel Mercer, who is also a consultant surgeon, told The Herald that he is alarmed by the number of patients that fall for sales pitches instead of seeking out a reputable surgeon. He said: "It takes plastic surgeons 15 years to qualify. It would take patients 15 minutes to check those qualifications, but they just don't do it." Mr Mercer, along with many other qualified surgeons, believes that the problem is that there isn't one single qualification in cosmetic surgery. Instead there are a number of different areas of speciality, but doctors can practise some surgeries even if they aren't specifically trained in them. He added that, while surgeons registered with BAAPs have definitely received training, that doesn't always mean it is relevant to the surgeries they then go on to offer. His view is supported by that of Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents. He said: "Anyone who is a doctor can call himself a cosmetic surgeon. What we want to see is a specialist register for specific types of cosmetic surgery." While new regulations designed to increase the safety of Botox were brought into play at the end of last year, the same can't currently be said for dermal fillers. Although there are a large number of reputable cosmetic surgery clinics in the UK, buyers are advised to ensure that they do a some research into the clinic they are visiting, no matter how tempting the price may be.