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DH launches review into cosmetic surgery industry

The cosmetic surgery industry is to be placed under scrutiny as the DH announced a major review following the PIP implant scandal.

The review, requested by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and led by the NHS Medical Director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, will investigate many issues including whether the right amount of regulation is in place, if people have the right amount of information before going through with surgery and how to make sure patients get the right aftercare.

People are being asked to give their views on, and share their experiences of, the cosmetic surgery industry and cosmetic procedures.

A survey of more than 1700 people has found many consider the cost of surgery more important than the qualifications of the people doing it, or how they will be looked after.

Only half (54% for surgery, 50% for non-surgical procedures) people take the qualifications of their practitioner into consideration when deciding whether to have cosmetic surgery.

Also as a result of the recent PIP breast implant problems, almost half of women surveyed (45%) who said they would have considered cosmetic surgery before the scandal, said they are now less likely to book a surgical

"The recent problems with PiP breast implants have shone a light on the cosmetic surgery industry," said Keogh.

"Many questions have been raised, particularly around the regulation of clinics, whether all practitioners are adequately qualified, how well people are advised when money is changing hands, aggressive marketing techniques, and what protection is available when things go wrong.

"I am concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is and do not consider the life-long implications - and potential complications - it can have. That's why I have put together this Review Committee to advise me in making recommendations to Government on how we can better protect people who choose to have surgery or cosmetic interventions.

"We want to hear views from everyone, particularly people who have experience of the cosmetic surgery industry or of other cosmetic interventions - good and bad - so we can learn what works best."

Lansley has also requested that the review considers a national implant register, for products such as breast implants and other medical devices.

Information that could form part of the register may include the date and place of the operation, the clinical outcome as well as a method of identifying the patients who received the product.

Keogh and his team of experts are expected to make recommendations to the Government by next March.

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