Thursday, 14 February 2022


Two-thirds of clinicians including surgeons, doctors and nurses believe that the lines between non-surgical (such as lasers and injectables) and surgical procedures (such as breast lifts and tummy tucks) have become dangerously blurred; and a whopping nine out of ten (89%) say the public has very little understanding of practitioner qualifications. The findings are unveiled today by the Clinical Cosmetic & Reconstructive Expo (, a first-of-its-kind event taking place this October at London Olympia bringing together under one roof the foremost experts in aesthetic and reconstructive treatment: ‘from Botox® to bionic limbs’.

The survey also reveals that nearly three quarters (74%) of medical professionals worry that ‘plastic’ and ‘cosmetic’ surgery have become interchangeable terms in the public’s mind; and whilst nearly two thirds (63%) agree that the advertising of surgical procedures needs to be curtailed, 57% say the practice should be banned outright.

Well over two thirds (68%) support the reclassification of dermal fillers - popular injectable treatments that are currently unregulated - as medicines. Three in five (59%) practitioners have come across beauty therapists performing these procedures, one in five (20%) have seen hairdressers doing so, and one in ten have witnessed members of the public offering them. A staggering majority (85%) believe that current systems for regulation, such as the Government-backed voluntary register TreatmentsYouCanTrust, do not protect patients from unscrupulous practices. 

According to consultant plastic surgeon and Chairman of the Expo’s Medical Advisory Board Norman Waterhouse, who is also former President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS):
“Whilst it is reassuring to note that so many of us in the sector are ‘on the same page’ regarding the lack of regulation and the need for tighter controls, the results of this survey nonetheless present an alarming picture. What I do find encouraging is that the vast majority of us agree there needs to be more dialogue in this field. In the aftermath of the PIP implant scandal and Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into cosmetic surgery, never has there been a more timely opportunity to bring the surgical and non-surgical communities together.”

Survey highlights:
·       Nearly three-quarters (74%) believe the term ‘plastic surgery’ has become interchangeable with ‘cosmetic surgery’ in the mind of the public
·       Two-thirds (66%) believe there has been a blurring of lines between non-surgical treatments (such as lasers or injectables) and surgical procedures (such as mastopexy or abdominoplasty) in the public and media's view and, of those, almost three-quarters (73%) believe this endangers patients
·       Nine out of ten (89%) say the public isn’t educated enough about what the terms plastic surgeon/cosmetic doctor/nurse prescriber/aesthetician imply
·       Well over two-thirds believe that dermal fillers - currently requiring only a CE mark - should be reclassified as medicines
·       When asked who they had witnessed offering injectable treatments:
o   Doctors 9/10 (90%)
o   Surgeons 8/10 (83%)
o   Nurses 5/10 (48%)
o   Dentists 5/10 (53%)
o   Beauty therapists 6/10 (59%)
o   Hairdressers 1/5 (20%)
o   Members of the public 1/10 (10%)
o   Others 6%
·       Nearly nine out of ten (85%) stated that current systems such as voluntary register TreatmentsYouCanTrust do not do enough to protect the public
·       Almost three in five (57%) believe that surgical procedures should not be advertised to the public (only slightly over a third - 36% - said no)
·       A slightly higher proportion (63%) said that cosmetic surgery advertising should at least be restricted (for example prohibiting or limiting it in public places where children might see them)
·       Nearly two-thirds (65%) agree that procedures historically considered ‘cosmetic’ such as facelifts, brow lifts and Botox should be available on the NHS, particularly for conditions such as facial paralysis.
·       A whopping 85% state there is a need for tighter regulations in the aesthetic sector
·       Nearly three out of five (57%) say the Government were wrong to deregulate lasers
·       The vast majority (84%) believe that surgical (whether cosmetic or reconstructive) and non-surgical specialists would benefit from each other’s expertise and should enjoy more open dialogue

According to Peter Jones, Chief Executive Officer for CCR Expo:
“I’m delighted that, through their responses, clinicians themselves are reinforcing the logic behind launching an event of this type and scale. This will be the first time that experts from both the surgical and non-surgical fields will have the opportunity to come together to debate and share best practice, and help define the future of their own field, which is in undeniable turbulence. The event includes an extensive programme, which packs 14 days’ worth of workshops, conferences and live demonstration theatres into just two days.”

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