Extract from The Observer:
"Earlier this year Rachel received damages of more than £20,000 in an out-of-court settlement from the clinic. That was to cover her pain, trauma and suffering, both physical and psychological, and the cost of corrective surgery. She plans to have that soon, but will be much more rigorous in checking the experience of her surgeon.
Cosmetic surgery is a booming market which offers everything from invasive procedures requiring a general anaesthetic, such as breast enhancement, tummy tucks and liposuction, through to non-surgical treatments, which include Botox injections, laser removal of hair and 'fillers' to tackle signs of ageing.
Around 700,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the UK in 2005 at a cost of £360 million, more than three times the 202,000 treatments undertaken in 2001. The vast majority of procedures in 2005, around 595,000, involved non-surgical treatments such as chemical peels. They cost on average £200, compared with about £3,700 for those in which a surgeon wields a scalpel.
Research by Which?, formerly the Consumers' Association, shows that almost five million adult Britons would consider having cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance. Four per cent, or 1.4 million people, want their partner to consider some form of cosmetic enhancement.
The influence of celebrities who have had surgery, such as Anne Robinson, Sharon Osbourne and Debbie Harry, has probably played a part.
But failed operations like Rachel's are only one reason why the industry arouses concern. Which? has produced a dossier of evidence which exposes an array of 'hard sell' tactics being used by clinics. Which? claims that such practices are being used worryingly often in an attempt to persuade people to sign up for treatment, even though such tactics breach the letter and spirit of codes of conduct of the various regulatory bodies which are meant to govern the industry's behaviour and ensure high standards. The Good Medical Practice in Cosmetic Surgery code of conduct, drawn up by the industry's Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS), appears to have been breached time and time again in an increasingly competitive market.
In a letter to IHAS, Which? recounts how its staff who attended the recent Body Beautiful show, a huge trade fair at the Business Design Centre in north London attended by many members of the public, found 20 examples of rule-breaking and bad practice by cosmetic surgery clinics in the promotional materials they gave out to visitors. Which? found some of the country's best known operators such as Forma, Linia, Harley Medical Group and Make Yourself Amazing among the offenders. The organisation's catalogue of complaints includes claims, backed up by evidence sent to the IHAS, that clinics at the show were:
· offering patients money off the usual price of a procedure if they booked by a certain date, even though industry codes of conduct specifically ban such deals. Four clinics, including Linia and the Harley Medical Group, have been accused.
· advertising Botox, even though doing so is illegal because it is a controlled toxin and against the regulations of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which approves medicines for use in the UK. Which? accuses both Harley Medical Group and the Forma group of doing this."
It is a long, detailed article - worth reading in full if you are considering having this kind of treatment.
Lose weight and improve your health in many ways without drugs or expense by eating less salt! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!