An investigation has unravelled the top reason Australian clinics rely on to convince patients to opt for cosmetic surgery - get a boob job to boost your chances of finding a partner.
In the probe, conducted by consumer group Choice, three women were sent to 30 clinics, half in Sydney, half in Brisbane, where most cosmetic surgeries are performed in Australia.
Posing as potential customers, the women inquired about liposuction, breast augmentation and Botox.
Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn revealed that the most remarkable statement to any of the women was that she would have an improved chance of finding a partner if she had her breasts enlarged.
"It's incredibly surprising that a doctor would say that. Talk about playing to people's insecurities," News.com.au quoted Zinn as saying.
However, what surprised the investigators was that these clinics failed to explain the dangers, such as leakage and scarring linked with cosmetic surgery.
"Given the known risks and the unwillingness of some cosmetic surgeons to discuss them, there needs to be stronger regulation," said Zinn.
Many states do not allow for promotion via before and after pictures and in Queensland cosmetic practitioners can't call themselves surgeons, other than fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons such as plastic surgeons.lthough there are recommendations of a 1999 inquiry into cosmetic surgery, they have not been implemented in NSW, where lasers can still be used without a licence and beauty clinics can inject Botox.
And now, Merrilyn Walton, who ran the inquiry, said that the field of cosmetic surgery was still "cowboy country".
She added: "I don't understand why governments have been so tardy in their response to the inquiry we did a decade ago. Many cosmetic surgery practices have been devoid of the normal protective mechanisms in medicine. From the patients' perspective, they need the same safeguards whether they're in cosmetic surgery or being treated for an illness. It's still cutting the skin."
Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery president Daniel Fleming said: "We do not condone this kind of behaviour. It is unacceptable."