Daniel Ezra, Oculoplastic and Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has noted a sharp increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for “botched” cosmetic surgery procedures. The leading eye surgeon says it causes people a huge amount of heartache, distress, loss of self-esteem and crucially, money.
Mr Ezra comments, “Over the past 1-2 years, we have seen a rise in the number of patients seeking advice following problems with initial cosmetic surgery. In my experience, this is not simply a case of patients being dissatisfied with the outcomes of surgery in terms of aesthetics or unrealistic expectations of looking younger, but actually Poorly planned and poorly executed procedures using inadequate surgical techniques which can leave patients physically and psychologically scarred.
“Part of the issue stems from the increase in cosmetic surgery tourism, with UK patients choosing to have procedures abroad to reduce costs in popular destinations such as Eastern Europe and Thailand, without understanding the consequences of unregulated practices. This type of healthcare behaviour also means that follow up care is very difficult in the event of complications occurring. However, it’s undeniable that this is also happening here in the UK.
“The guidance on how to approach problems following cosmetic surgery is currently inadequate and far too often patients find that surgeons and practices are unwilling to provide further consultations or corrective surgery. There is a misconception that people who have cosmetic surgery are wealthy or vain, when actually the reality is quite different. People from all walks of life undergo cosmetic surgery treatments for a variety of reasons – often to increase self-esteem or boost confidence due to a long held issue with their body. So, when patients have to pay extra and potentially take more time off work to recover from further surgery it can be very distressing.
“The whole “re-do” sector of cosmetic surgery is not openly talked about and I think we need to address it as surgeons to protect patients and provide the best possible care. While regulatory changes are underway from bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure the industry is operating to the highest levels of professionalism and care and educate patients, more needs to be done to stress to patients how important it is to have a thorough consultation with a qualified, registered surgeon who specialises in cosmetic treatment of a specific area of the body. Patients should have confidence to ask questions upfront to find out about follow-up care, how any complications or problems will be dealt with, what potential costs are involved if anything goes wrong or needs to be repeated.”
For a free copy of the GMC’s new leaflet Cosmetic Procedures, What Do I Need to Consider? visit www.gmc-uk.org