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Dermal Fillers – A Crisis Waiting To Happen

The Department of Health ordered a review of cosmetic procedures which worryingly found that dermal fillers have as little regulation as toothbrushes and pens despite having a series of potentially dangerous side effects.  A lack of regulation is leading to more cosmetic surgery compensation claims.  Government health advisers have warned that dermal fillers are a “crisis waiting to happen.”  The review was arranged after the PIP breast implant scandal where up to 40,000 British women were given breast implants that were filled with non-medical grade silicone.

What does the NHS say?

NHS Medical Director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who led the independent review, said:

“The most striking thing is that anybody, anywhere, anytime can give a filler to anybody else and that is bizarre.  Dermal fillers – which are things you inject into people and put beneath their skin, and they stay there for a period of time – should be treated the same way as other types of implants.”

What have the Government said?

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:

“There is currently a significant risk of people falling into the hands of cowboy firms or individuals whose only aim is to make a quick profit.”

What does the Cosmetic Industry say?

Transform, Britain’s biggest cosmetic surgery chain supports the reforms.  Chief Operating Officer, Pat Dunion said:

“The whole PIP (breast implant) scandal was caused by a fraudulent manufacturer and a failure of the regulatory body to check the quality of the implants.  We urge the Government to address that now.  There is a need for the regulatory bodies to come into hospitals and take sample implants and check the quality of them.”

What did the Review Team conclude?

  • Dermal filler injections should only be available on prescription
  • Dermal filler injections should only be administered by qualified practitioners
  • There should be a ban on financial inducements and time-limited deals that influence vulnerable consumers
  • Patients should be better informed by surgeons about the risks and potential benefits of a treatment
  • There should be an insurance scheme to pay compensation when treatments go wrong

When will the changes kick in?

The Department of Health will announce a series of regulations on the cosmetics industry this summer.

What Do The Specialists Say?

David Healey from Carter & Carter Solicitors in Stockport commented:

“We have acted on behalf of lots of people who have had cosmetic treatment which has gone wrong and they have wanted to make a beauty treatment compensation claim.  They range from full surgical procedures to something as trivial as leg waxing.  Sadly mistakes happen frequently.

My biggest piece of advice would be to check that the person or company you are using has public liability insurance to cover the procedure you are having no matter how trivial.  People would be absolutely shocked if they knew how many practitioners do not have any form of insurance whatsoever.  Just take a look at this Sky News article from earlier this year – http://news.sky.com/story/1043082/plastic-surgeons-flying-in-from-abroad-pose-risk