Cosmetic Surgery Clinics Lure Patients by Making False, Misleading Claims

by VR Sreeraman on  January 8, 2008 at 3:31 PM Lifestyle News
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Cosmetic Surgery Clinics Lure Patients by Making False, Misleading Claims
A study has revealed that Cosmetic surgery clinics are using hard-sell techniques to lure the patients into risky procedures without proper medical advice.

A consumer association known as 'Which?' has found that these clinics are increasingly using techniques like two-for-one deals and exaggerated claims about results of the methods used, pressurizing the patients to go under the knife.

The consumer group is being backed by industry body the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) demanding a new legislation to police the corrupt practitioners.

The investigators went undercover as the potential patients at 16 clinics and experts assessed transcripts of the consultations.

They found marketing techniques such as imposing deadlines and offering "buy one get one free" deals were used to luring the "client" for going under the procedure.

Jenny Driscoll, the health campaigner for Which?, said that legislation by the Scottish Government will only give adequate protection consumers.

"As our research over the last ten years has consistently shown that the cosmetics industry isn't capable of regulating itself, legislation by the Scottish Government is the only way of giving consumers adequate protection," Scotsman quoted Driscoll, as saying.

The team also found that non-medical staff was offering wrong and incorrect advice despite industry guidelines that practitioners should properly assess the patient's fitness for treatment.

The staff was also making false and misleading claims about treatments regarding lifespan of breast implants or the length of time botox would last.

"Some of the marketing tactics we found are obviously intended to encourage people to have more surgery than they may want and need," Which? said.

Driscoll said that as in England and Wales, consumers in Scotland are currently not offered sufficient protection by weak and patchy regulation of the cosmetic-treatments industry.

"We've set up an online guide where people can get independent advice about different cosmetic treatments - what they involve, what the medical terms mean, and what the risks are," she said.

The plastic-surgery industry has boomed over the past decade and is now worth at least 906 million dollars in the UK.

One in five UK adults' plastic surgery, and Britons put themselves through a total of 577,000 cosmetic operations in 2007, up from 300,000 just two years ago.

Hamish Laing, a consultant plastic surgeon and member of BAPRAS expressed his concerns over cosmetic treatments without proper regulation.

"We are concerned about the rapid growth of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic treatments without proper regulation," said Laing.

These surgeries has even induced fatal conditions in patients opting for such procedures. 

Denise Hendry, wife of former Scotland football captain Colin went into a five-week coma in 2002 after a liposuction proved unsuccessful following which her bowel and colon was perforated nine times

The injuries caused blood poisoning leading to multi-organ failure, including a cardiac arrest that stopped her heartbeat for four minutes.

The former hairdresser from Dundee originally decided on the procedure to regain her figure after having four children.

A recent poll of 7,800 over-50s has revealed that 26 per cent of the women had already had cosmetic surgery, or would be willing to do so - although this dropped to 9 per cent of the men questioned.

Source: ANI

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