The future of the cosmetic surgery industry in Scotland depends on its ability to embrace more rigorous regulation, according to Elanic Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Medical Director, Mr Vivek Sivarajan.
Recent research by Glasgow’s Azimuth Healthcare estimates that the cosmetic treatment market for both invasive and non-invasive procedures in Glasgow alone is now worth £10 million annually and is continuing to grow at an impressive rate.
True to this trend, Elanic has seen a huge increase in business since it opened in March 2013 due largely to the success of its pioneering use of day-based surgery, which reduces patient recovery time, minimising time away from work and family life.
Rigorous adherance to industry regulation is also key to the thriving clinic. However this approach is not universal across the country and Vivek Sivarajan is lobbying for improvements to safeguard responsible practitioners and their patients.
He says: “The cosmetic surgery industry today is virtually unrecognisable from where it was 10 years ago. Whilst historically it has been commonplace for the majority of operations to be carried out under general anaesthetic, with invasive surgical procedures resulting in several weeks recovery time, it is now entirely feasible that patients can be in and out in a day for procedures such as breast augmentations and face lifts. Recovery times are also greatly reduced due to innovation and improved practices in anesthesia, which means many of these procedures no longer require a full general anaesthetic.
“At Elanic, we focus on pioneering minimally invasive surgical techniques which use special threads and anchors rather than open surgical procedures. As a result, these can be carried out in a day clinic such as ours with a vastly reduced recovery time.
“It is an exciting time in the industry and I’m confident there is room for significant further growth, but this must be matched by an overall tightening of regulation to underpin patient confidence and outcomes. At the moment, a significant number of non invasive procedures such as dermal filler injections are being carried out in beauty salons and dental surgeries by staff with minimal training.
“In addition, practitioners from other areas in the UK are travelling to Scotland to carry out procedures for a day or so at a time, which potentially impacts on effective aftercare for the patient.
“In order to safeguard the industry and ensure the highest possible standards of care and governance, more input from regulatory bodies is required to protect patients and to ensure that all practitioners provide an effective service and responsible care plans for patients.”