Cosmetic Surgery – The Price of Beauty

Youth and beauty.  Everyone aspires to hold onto these qualities for as long as possible, and the booming industry of cosmetic surgery has given many of us the chance to delay the passing of time and change aspects of our appearance.

The cosmetic surgery and procedures industry is forecasted to be worth £3.6 billion pounds by 2015 and there has been a recent surge in non-surgical procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers which can be carried out over a lunch-break.  However, a recent review commissioned by the Department of Health criticised the industry, stating that these practices were “almost entirely unregulated” whilst a new study found 13% of people who had had non-surgical procedures had allowed an unqualified person to perform the treatment.

The problems with cosmetic surgery

So what can go wrong with non-surgical cosmetic procedures?  Plenty, including:

• Allergic reactions

• Numbness (including Palsy)

• Lumps under the skin where injections have been placed which may need to be surgically removed

• Injections not being placed correctly, causing the medication to spread to adjacent tissues (this can cause dry eye, eyelid droop and crooked smiles)

• Nerve damage

Issues surrounding the risks of cosmetic surgery were highlighted last year when it was discovered that breast implants from PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) made from unauthorised silicone filler had twice the rupture rate of other implants.  Although the silicone was found not to be toxic or carcinogenic, a rupture can cause pain, inflammation and change the shape and feel of the breast. Around 300,000 women were affected in 65 countries.

Treatments such as Liposuction can result in severe complications if they are performed negligently including damage to internal organs and pulmonary embolisms. Even Rhinoplasty, which some people may consider to be a less invasive procedure, carries risks including; injury to the septum (the wall that separates your nostrils) and serious nasal blockages caused by swelling.

So what can a patient do to protect themselves from “cowboy” surgeons and negligent procedures?

It is important that anyone contemplating having a cosmetic procedure or cosmetic surgery consider the following:

Is the surgeon performing my procedure a member of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)?

Members of this not-for-profit organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons are required to undergo thorough background screening before they can join. They are fully trained Plastic Surgeons and receive ongoing training and instruction as part of their membership.  You can find out more at

Beware of clinics and practitioners using hard sell techniques.

A reputable Cosmetic Surgeon will consult with you, not sell to you.  They will take the time to fully inform you of the risks involved in the procedure and make sure you are comfortable with them.  Be aware of clinics offering free consultations and non-refundable deposits.  You have a right to change your mind right up until the time you go to sleep for the operation and a responsible surgeon is unlikely to demand to keep any payments made if you decide the treatment is not for you.  Trust your instincts, if it does not feel right it probably isn’t.

Think about what is driving your decision to have surgery.

If you have recently been through a divorce, a family member has died, or you have experienced some other type of trauma in your life it is not advisable to have a cosmetic procedure.  Take some time out to think about your decision and revisit the idea in six months time when you can evaluate the facts clearly.

Use the ‘Treatments You Can Trust (TYCT) Cosmetic Injectable Treatments’ website to find a properly trained practitioner for cosmetic procedures.

TYCT works in association with the Department of Health, Care Quality Commission and the Health Protection Agency as well as industry experts.  They have developed a set of best practice standards for injectable cosmetic procedures which practitioners have to comply with in order to become registered members.

Finally, despite the inference from magazines and celebrity culture that cosmetic surgery and procedures are as commonplace as getting a new hairstyle, remember, especially in the case of cosmetic surgery, that you are undertaking a risky procedure that can have long-term, unintended consequences.  You need to give the whole process careful thought and take your time before you commit yourself to anything that you may regret further down the line.

Claiming For Cosmetic Surgery Errors

Recent figures released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) show the UK’s cosmetic surgery industry is still booming – despite health scares such as the PIP breast implants scandal. The overall number of procedures has risen by 20% in the last four years, topping 43,000 in 2012.

With so many treatments being offered within a mostly self-regulated industry, it’s hardly surprising that when mistakes are made, they often go unreported. However, cosmetic surgery errors are no different to any other type of clinical or medical negligence. If you’ve been physically or mentally damaged by a cosmetic procedure that went wrong, you’re entitled to claim compensation.


Types of cosmetic surgery claims

Here are a few of the most common scenarios.

  • Breast surgery – bulging or different sized breasts; scarring and skin puckering; nerve damage.
  • Liposuction – extensive scarring; sagging skin.
  • Tummy tucks – fluid retention; skin loss; loss of skin; unsightly scarring.
  • Face lifts – unpleasant scarring; infection leading to necrosis (skin death); ‘pixie ear’ where the ear lobes are unnaturally stretched.
  • Nose jobs – dents or bulges on the nose; mismatched nostrils; total nose collapse.
  • Chemical peels – burns and scarring of the face.
  • Dental negligence – uncomfortable or painful dental implants; swelling and inflammation from poor surgical techniques; burns, blisters and ulcers from tooth whitening chemicals.

Why you should claim

The short and long-term effects of faulty cosmetic surgery can be devastating. As well as suffering physical pain and discomfort, victims of botched procedures can suffer mental trauma as a direct result of their experiences. At the very least, you’re likely to feel angry and upset that you’ve chosen to pay for a procedure in the hope of improving your appearance – only to end up looking and feeling worse than before.


Injury Lawyers 4U is here to help

Injury Lawyers 4U is a national network of personal injury specialists. We deal with all kinds of medical negligence claims and we’re highly experienced at dealing with claims for cosmetic surgery errors. Your claim will be dealt with by an expert personal injury lawyer, giving you the best possible chance of success. As we work on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis, you can be sure that we’re working hard to secure you the compensation you deserve, without any risk to you in making the claim.


Call us for honest, professional advice on 0845 345 4444. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or complete our online form and a lawyer will call you back at a convenient time.