For many of us, January kick-starts all manner of ‘new year, new body’ eating and exercise regimes in a bid to magically transform the way we look. Some people however, choose to go the extra mile by opting for cosmetic surgery.
According to recent research by the Harley Medical Group, more than a quarter of British women are unhappy with the way they look, and enquiries about tummy tucks, liposuction and thigh lift procedures, double in January.
The UK cosmetic surgery market is worth around £3bn with women accounting for 91 per cent of all procedures. Breast augmentations are the most popular procedure followed by eyelid surgery at 17 per cent and face and neck surgery at 15 per cent. Eyelid surgery, nose jobs and breast reductions account for 56 per cent of all procedures performed on men.
Although the cosmetic surgery market in Britain dipped in 2014 for the first time in 10 years, thanks in part to the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) scandal which is thought to have affected more than 4,000 women in Britain, more than 50,000 people still underwent nip and tuck procedures.
Despite the several thousand cosmetic surgery operations performed each year in the UK, according to research carried out by the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), 65 per cent of former patients said they regretted going under the knife. In addition, only 28 per cent admitted to being completely happy with the results, with complications and unexplained side effects among the most common complaints.
Last year, the Think Over Before You Make Over campaign was launched to address the worrying lack of consumer awareness about safe cosmetic surgery options. The BAPRAS research revealed that nearly a quarter of people undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK failed to check their surgeon’s qualifications and more than a fifth were unaware of any risks associated with the treatments they signed up for.
Thousands of people in Britain continue to put themselves at serious risk of physical and psychological harm by undergoing negligent or inappropriate surgery that could so easily be avoided if prospective patients first stopped to ask some simple questions prior to going ahead with their treatment.
Our clinical negligence solicitors help patients claim for botched surgery and we have seen a significant increase in enquiries about cosmetic surgery compensation over the past 10 years. Worryingly, cosmetic surgeons are poorly regulated and there are many unqualified or unskilled practitioners who don’t specialise in one particular type of procedure attempting to lure potential patients via low price procedures either here in the UK or abroad as cosmetic surgery holidays.
If you’re considering cosmetic surgery, we would always advise ensuring you choose a reputable BAAPS surgeon and avoid rushing into a decision. Plastic surgery is never risk-free and patients need to be sure their surgeons are properly qualified to perform the procedure they are considering. It is also crucial they are fully aware of any possible complications that could arise following their treatment.
Paul Sankey is a senior clinical negligence solicitor at Slater and Gordon in London.
If you or a member of your family underwent cosmetic surgery in the UK or abroad that went wrong, or didn’t turn out as expected, you can get free expert legal advice by calling us 24/7 for a free consultation on 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.