Lack of regulation within the cosmetic surgery industry is a growing concern for the Clinical Negligence Department at Alsters Kelley Solicitors, as they are receiving more claims than ever from patients whose surgery has been performed negligently.
Questions have been raised about regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry, following the recent issues with PIP breast implants. Particular focus has been based around the regulation of clinics, whether practitioners are adequately qualified, how well patients are advised, aggressive marketing techniques, and what protection is available when things go wrong.
A recent survey, conducted by the Government, shows that many people wanting cosmetic surgery are more concerned about the cost of treatment than the qualifications of those administering it. Prior to April 2002, it was not a legal requirement for a cosmetic surgeon to be suitably qualified.
Cosmetic surgery creates regulatory problems because it is not recognised as a speciality for registration purposes and involves doctors from various medical backgrounds. As a result, standards do vary hugely.
Clinical negligence solicitor, Anjalee Parmar says “Many patients who wish to ‘go under the knife’ do so in the hope of improving their confidence and self-esteem, however when a procedure is performed negligently the patient can be left both physically and mentally scarred.”
Miss Parmar continues, “A key issue we have to assess with all cosmetic surgery related claims is whether the patient gave informed consent to treatment, having been adequately warned of the clinical risks prior to surgery taking place.”
The patient needs to warned by the cosmetic surgeon of all potential risks of surgery and be provided with alternative procedures as well as allowing them the opportunity of a cooling off period to enable them to decide if surgery is the best option for them.
If you have suffered with injuries during or after surgery, which you were not warned of, such as scarring or disfigurement, the surgeon may have breached his/her duty of care.