Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Are Concerning

There are thousands of cosmetic surgery procedures carried out each year in the UK and the number keeps increasing each year. What's worrying about that is that it is a very poorly regulated industry and mistakes are more common than you might think. Worse, negligence isn't always caused by mistakes so much as laziness and corner cutting.

A recent study outlined the scary facts. Carried out bey the National Confidential Enquiry it showed up some shocking statistics regarding the companies who carry out cosmetic surgery procedures.

First of all, nearly 70% of companies refused to take part in the study. That means that nearly 70% are completely unregulated. We know nothing of their practices, methods, standards or competency. Patients going to these companies really have no way of knowing how good the surgeon is or how good the after care will be. They certainly have no way of comeback should things go wrong, short of suing the cosmetic surgeon in question.

Of the remaining 30% there are some statistics that should cause patients concern. For example, 32% don't offer a 'cooling off period' after patients book a surgery. That means you can't change your mind after booking and get your full money back. Despite the fact this is standard practice for most transactions involving large sums, the unregulated cosmetic surgery industry does not, for the most part, adhere to this, which should be a worry for patients.

Only 56% of the companies that took part in the survey said they do the initial consultation with a consultant surgeon, instead presumably relying on their sales people to carry it out. This is worrying as it seems unlikely that any concerns will be raised in a bid to 'get the sale'.

A staggering 44% had poorly equipped operating theatres, increasing the risk that something could go wrong and if it did lacking the facilities to adequately deal with a mistake or complication.

A third of the companies don't have an out of hours consultant rota should an emergency arise and perhaps most worrying of all one in five do not have an emergency re-admissions policy, instead relying on the NHS to deal with any post-operative complications. They effectively wash their hands of the patient once the procedure is carried out.

All of this adds up to a poorly regulated industry in which a patient who suffers some kind of cosmetic surgery negligence has little opportunity to seek compensation other than through the courts.

In these instances it is advised that a patient contacts a specialist medical negligence solicitors who will be able to advise on whether or not negligence has taken pace and if so, how to go about claiming compensation.

Based on these statistics it is little wonder that as the number of cosmetic surgery procedures increases so do the instances of negligence and the number of claims for compensation.