Cosmetic surgery cases rise

Over 60 per cent of GPs have seen patients after cosmetic procedures have gone wrong.

cosmetic surgery
cosmetic surgery

Three in five GPs (61 per cent) have seen patients after unsatisfactory cosmetic surgery, according to a GP survey.

Three quarters (72.9 per cent) of GPs felt inadequately prepared to deal with the increasing demand for cosmetic surgery.

Over half of the 155 GPs surveyed by GP (54.8 per cent) said the number of queries they received was increasing.

Demand for cosmetic surgery is rising in the UK as the stigma and perceptions of cosmetic treatments change, a recent survey by the Harley Medical Group found.

However, only just over a quarter of GPs felt adequately trained when asked about cosmetic surgery, with 21 per cent having to tell patients to look on the internet and 59.1 per cent advising them to contact a private hospital when the treatment was not offered on the NHS.

A majority of GPs (63 per cent) would counsel the patients about the reason they wanted surgery.

Breast augmentation was by far the most common query reported by GPs, with treatments associated with obesity, such as liposuction and abdominoplasty also commonly being asked about.

Facial improvements like rhinoplasty and eye lifts were the third most commonly reported.

Although GPs feel inadequately prepared to deal with questions about the procedures, 9 per cent would like to provide the service.

A small proportion, (5.2 per cent) already perform cosmetic procedures in their practice.

The majority of GPs are concerned about cosmetic procedures, with 78.6 per cent preferring that patients consult them before having surgery.

A survey last year by Which? consumer group revealed that fewer than 15 per cent of people planning to have cosmetic surgery would bother to consult their GP.

Dr Douglas McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), said that more and more cosmetic surgery was being taught at medical school, and suggested that perhaps it was older GPs who did not feel adequately trained.

However, Dr McGeorge admitted that a lot of surgery will lead to complications.

'GPs are being exposed to some of the downfalls of plastic surgery,' he said.

'When people travel abroad for surgery for example, it is the GP who picks up the pieces.'

Dr McGeorge said it was important that patients were not seduced by glossy adverts and were properly counselled before their surgery.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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