UK & World News
Plastic Surgery Campaigns Target 17-Year-Olds
A study commissioned by the Government to look into the cosmetic surgery industry has found that 17-year-olds are being targeted by aggressive marketing campaigns.
The interim report has found people want to see tighter restrictions around the industry to protect patients from certain sales techniques.
The review was commissioned by the Department of Health following the PiP breast implant scandal.
Science journalist Vivien Parry, who is on the review panel, told Sky News: "I have been really shocked by what I've seen.
"Extraordinary things. For instance, 17-year-olds being plagued by texts saying, 'In less than a year's time you'll be able to have cosmetic surgery.'"
She added: "I just think that's awful. What it does to the psyche of young girls is one thing. But it sets up a cosmetic procedure, which has both short-term and long-term risks, as if it were something entirely trivial."
The report found patients and industry groups want tighter restrictions on advertising including banning two-for-one or time-limited deals, and cosmetic surgery as competition prizes.
They want to introduce a two-stage written consent process so that people have time to reflect.
Another demand is for patients to receive better information before making their decision. For example, providing them with photographs showing expected bruising and scarring.
Ms Parry said: "Cosmetic procedures are being sold like double glazing. If you make a decision within a week, you'll get money off.
"You can buy one procedure, get another procedure for free, bring along a friend, or have cosmetic surgery as a raffle prize.
"It concentrates on the money side of it so people forget about the health side."
PiP victim Victoria Newton, who had to have her breast implants replaced after they both ruptured, welcomed the report.
She told Sky News that when she first considered surgery, aged just 19, she was pressured and misinformed ahead of her decision.
Ms Newton said: "There was nothing personal about my consultation. It wasn't like I was going in for an operation. It was like I was buying a car or booking a holiday.
"There was a time-limited offer and I was really encouraged to go for that. At the time, I thought I was getting a good deal. They offered £500 off the price of the surgery, if I signed up that day."
After sparking a global health scare, the implants made by now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese were pulled from the market in several countries due to fears they could rupture and leak silicone into the body.
The interim report into cosmetic surgery practices suggests anything that pressures patients like Ms Newton to make a snap decision about surgery should be banned.
It states that consultations should always be conducted by the surgeon who will carry out the procedure, rather than sales staff.
But the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Rajiv Grover, says the recommendations do not go far enough.
"We're very pleased the report has focused on sales tactics used in cosmetic surgery. It's something we've been campaigning for, for the last decade," he told Sky News.
"However, we'd like to go further and suggest an outright ban on advertising, just as you would have for prescription-only medicines and other types of surgery."
He added: "This is a medical procedure and should be subject to the same regulations as any other medical procedure."
The suggestions highlighted in the interim report will feed into the work led by the NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh, who is due to publish his full recommendations in March.
what do you think?
Why waste money with another enquiry, all they have to say is no
Your world is very simplistic. Some people are very vulnerable and insecure and do not find it easy to be strong under pressure. Particularly the age group under discussion
Money, Money, Money ... isn't capitalism wonderful ... all you have to do is look at the state of the USA and western Europe after the pyramid schemes run by the greedy banking crooks have eventually failed, as they always do ... and still none of them are behind bars with their assets sequestered. If you want to succeed as a crook, be a REALLY BIG crook!
This type of targetting is unacceptable but the industry is hardly to blame for the obsession we now have celebrities. It is this which I believe is the root cause of the problem. Celebrities are always have this sort of thing done and the kids mimic their idols believing that if only I looked more like Britney then this is the road to fame & money.
The only way is Essex, xfactor, big brother, reality tv, trash tv, constant bombardment from†the media- you're too ugly, too skinny, fat, pale, you don't wear enough make up, you need implants, your butt is too big, you must have the latest wardrobe, you must have the latest gadgets- you must have an iphone5! you are not perfect, you are unhappy! We are a nation of apathetic, self obsessed, narcissists fully plugged into this capitalist, corporate world sat like zombies letting them hammer us with subliminal messages about whatever it is that will make them money, war, make up, gadgets, whatever. And we just lap it up. Our government can't stop it- they are implicit in it! The world is a beautiful place, but the people are well and truly screwed.
Agreed jj its awful = all the millions wasted and out tvs filled with skinny orange people with giganitic t*ts ( and that's just the men! Even on a much more ordinary level the cosmetics, nails and hair industry are raking it in. I wouldn't lik to be young again to be put under all that pressure.
Meanwhile they are poisoning our food supply with pesticides, pricing you out of organic eating, then building kfc and mcdonalds that make us fat, then they sell us diets. Money money money. No one cares. And anybody that does care wouldn't have it in them to organize the world into such greed driven chaos. John lennon was right- the world is run by psychopaths.
Better off spending the money on therapy. Failing that, please don't talk to me about it, its very dull.
Windows Live User
At my age if I had one they would have to tug my scalp up into a bunch to tighten everything up from my feet then snip it off. I really don't understand it but I seem to have 2 skins now!! Anyone lost one? tee hhee
Can Jewish guys get 4skin reconstruction?
Windows you did make me laugh with that! Thank you!
This is very disturbing. Legislation is needed to stop it.
Absolutely we do. This industry is booming and millions are being made from normal human insecurity. Millions od pounds wated on vanity and the greed of these "doctors" is shameful and unprofessional.
Isn't it the nanny state again.people have got to take responsibility for the decisions they make.Why should the state pay to tell people what they should know