New guidelines which will be published in their final form next year should help to ensure that more cosmetic surgeons offer patients a ‘cooling off’ period before carrying out any work.
The General Medical Council is now set to consult with doctors and members of the public about the proposed guidance, which would affect both non-surgical and surgical procedures, such as breast augmentation, facelifts, Botox and dermal fillers.
Many surgeons already employ a two-week cooling off period but the guidelines are aimed at less than scrupulous surgeons at the shadier end of the market who may make patients feel rushed into making life-changing decisions.
The GMC guidelines come in the wake of the publication earlier this year of a Royal College of Surgeons consultation focusing on improving and ensuring cosmetic surgery standards.
The GMC guidelines reflect the importance of essential consultation aspects that the experts at Elanic have always adhered to, such as the need to be honest and open with patients about the potential outcome of cosmetic surgery and any risks that may be involved, and offering a thorough explanation of what procedures involve and the associated physical and psychological effects.
Amongst other things, the guidelines aim to banish the worrying practice of offering cosmetic surgery as a prize in competitions, and the specific targeting of people under the age of 18.
Rajiv Grover, a British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) former president, has welcomed the new guidance, saying it highlighted the fact that some people are unsuitable for cosmetic procedures as a result of their psychological make-up or state.
He added that Baaps had long-been advocating a cooling off period of two weeks, and also encouraged people to undergo a second consultation before any decision about surgery was made.
This gives people plenty of time to think about their decision and the details about the procedure that should have been explained to them, as well as offering the opportunity for them to ask any questions they may have well before they make their final choice.
Baaps is currently looking at ways to develop an effective tool that can be used to screen potential cosmetic surgery patients to identify those who are not suitable to undergo procedures. This will help surgeons to refuse to carry out procedures on people who may not benefit, or may even be adversely effected, by some cosmetic surgery procedures.
At Elanic, we understand the far-reaching, positive effects that cosmetic surgery can have on a wide variety of people but we also hold a responsible and pragmatic view that it is not a cure-all solution.
There are times when cosmetic surgery can transform lives, boost confidence and even cure some psychological, as well as physical, problems. There are other occasions, however, when these types of procedures can do more harm than good. That is why we firmly believe that a good cosmetic surgery clinic, such as Elanic, will sometimes turn clients away in order to save them from their own requests.