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By Yvette Martyn

An Ofcom type agency is required to regulate cosmetic surgery according to the journal, Clinical Risk

The medical journal “Clinical Risk” has devoted its issue to aesthetic surgery aka cosmetic surgery. The journal concluded that the media, advertising and promotions cosmetic surgeons use are potentially unethical.

The president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Nigel Mercer, combines a consumer market who believe “new is better.” With the expectation that there are no adverse outcomes from cosmetic surgery in his editorial in the journal.

Cosmetic surgery is incorporated into modern society. It’s almost impossible to think of a celebrity who hasn’t had surgery, and there are many horror stories out there:

  • Jordan, who needed physiotherapy to bring back the sensation in her paralysed arm, following breast surgery.
  • Pete Burns, who reacted badly to injected lip fillers.
  • Kayne West’s Mother, who died of complications following cosmetic surgery.

So when the rich and famous, who hire the most experienced surgeons, see the side effects of operations, why do the public believe they are protected?

The problem with cosmetic surgery is that it goes against the philosophy doctors live by, the principal rule of medicine is:

“First, do no harm”

Doctors became a profession because they are above commercialism, they are not out to make money, for example, no doctor would advise an inappropriate c-section to make money. They have control over the market and the dominance to state what counts as illness. Doctors also possess specialist knowledge and exist in a community with tests and rules.

But cosmetic surgery goes against all these factors and this can leave the public with the problem. The public must judge if they need cosmetic surgery whilst being wary of the surgeon, and whether they are advising on the basis of making money.

The journal suggests an Ofcom type regulator is required. This would ensure the words of Nigel Mercer:

“If we have to sell anything, we should sell out advice, not procedure”

Image: Aleksandr Kutsayev /


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