A face is for life, not just for Christmas

5th December 2009


As Christmas present buying peaks and the party season begins, BAPRAS is warning the public not to fall for tactics that pressure people into changing their looks or encourages giving cosmetic surgery as a gift.  

Targeting female consumers in particular, some cosmetic clinics, use a myriad of marketing techniques to lure consumers in, warns BAPRAS.  Amongst the examples BAPRAS has seen are “two procedures for price of one”, offering cosmetic surgery as a raffle prize, giving vouchers that could be exchanged for an operation and online discount offers to boost seasonal sales.

Plastic surgeons are concerned that some clinics are taking advantage of the fact that cosmetic surgery is not taken as seriously as it should be, because it has been trivialised by TV programmes that treat cosmetic surgery as a quick and easy solution for anyone wanting to improve the way they look or feel.

BAPRAS says that anyone thinking of having a surgical procedure should give serious consideration to the type of operation they are considering and should carefully investigate the type of surgery and surgeon they are considering.

Tim Goodacre, consultant plastic surgeon and Vice-President Elect of BAPRAS, said:
“Aesthetic surgery can have a really positive impact on a person’s quality of life by boosting self esteem and confidence. However, it is still major surgery and should not be entered into lightly, and certainly not given as an unsolicited Christmas gift.

“It is worrying that cosmetic surgery is being seen by some as a commodity that can be given as easily as a handbag at Christmas. Face lifts, liposuction and breast surgery are now marketed by some in the same way as the latest moisturiser or mascara.”

Cosmetic ‘sunshine and surgery’ packages are becoming increasingly popular. Research published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery last year found almost a quarter of BAPRAS’ membership (23%) treated patients on the NHS with complications related to cosmetic surgery performed outside of the UK.  Going under the knife whilst having time off is seen as a viable solution for many, but BAPRAS warns UK patients it could cost them more than their well earned cash if they choose to have cosmetic surgery abroad. It is urging consumers who are thinking about undergoing cosmetic surgery, either at home or abroad, to undertake plenty of research before doing so.

BAPRAS members saw at least 208 patients in their NHS clinics across the UK for complications after cosmetic surgery abroad in 2007. Approximately three quarters of those patients had complications that required treatment. Of these, 26% of patients had to have emergency surgery, 31% required elective surgery to rectify the problem, 33% had non-surgical treatment as an out-patient and 8% of patients had non-surgical treatment as an in-patient.

Considering cosmetic surgery? Read our '5 C's checklist'


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