Vital Information to People Considering Cosmetic Surgery

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Cosmetic Surgery

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson today launched a new website providing important information for people considering cosmetic surgery. Last year Sir Liam asked Harry Cayton, Director for Patients and the Public, to convene an Expert Group to look at the regulation of cosmetic surgery. One of their key recommendations was that patients and the public should have access to detailed, accredited advice on cosmetic surgery including what standards to expect from providers, what qualifications to look for and what questions to ask.

The Chief Medical Officer said:

"Good public information on cosmetic surgery is essential. People need help and support to make informed choices about whether to have cosmetic surgery or a non-surgical cosmetic treatment. Well informed patients can help to drive up standards among providers in a field of healthcare where there have been concerns . I am sure that the web material will be widely used and will make a significant contribution to raising awareness among both the public and the providers.

"It is in the interests of everyone working in the field to make sure that the public have access to reliable information. The Department of Health was fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of a wide range of stakeholders in the professional, voluntary and independent sectors in putting this material together. I would like to thank those organisations who contributed."

The website features useful information including:

  • Questions to ask yourself about your reasons for wanting cosmetic surgery and your expectations of the results the procedure will bring, as well as some alternatives to cosmetic surgery.

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  • A handy 'cosmetic surgery checklist' of questions to ask, help to make sure that the provider gives you all the details you need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether cosmetic surgery is right for you.

  • Information on how to check that the surgeons, doctors, dentists, nurses and beauty therapists who will be carrying out the cosmetic treatment have the right qualifications and experience.

  • An A-Z list of all cosmetic procedures, what to think about to start with, what the treatment involves, what results you should expect and any risks you may need to know about.

  • Information on what to do if you are not happy with the results or have a complaint to make about a cosmetic surgery or treatment.

Harry Cayton, National Director for Patients and the Public at the Department of Health, said:

"I am pleased with the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Expert Group. The publication of this web-based information is one of the ways we can help people be more knowledgeable about cosmetic surgery and what they can expect from their treatment."

Professor John Lowry, Chair of the Senate of Surgery

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