Price Slater Gawne have been instructed by a former patient of Mr Saif Khan to investigate whether the breast augmentation he performed was carried out with the necessary care and skill. The woman concerned has been left with a significantly abnormal result. The Rubicon Medcial Group that she booked the procedure through no longer exists as it went under due to the PIP issues.
We are investigating whether this was an unfortunate complication of competent surgery or whether the surgery was negligently carried out. The asymmetry she has been left with could be within “acceptable” surgical limits but that is far from acceptable to her. Few clinics are keen to ensure that patients are psychologically prepared for all that can go wrong.
Many women are lead to believe that the cosmetic procedure they are about to undergo is “routine” and without major risk of complication. However a significant number of patients are left unhappy with the results even where the surgery was competently carried out. This risk is either underplayed or ignored in the consultation process. Many of the clinics offering cosmetic surgery have too much to gain from high volumes of procedures being carried out. They are too quick to encourage people to have surgery that is purely elective and not necessary for any therapeutic benefit. The cooling off period encouraged by BAAPS only works if the patient has enough information and is able to make an informed choice. Often patients who are suffering from psychological or psychiatric illnesses can slip through this process and end up having surgery that proves damaging to their mental health as well as their physical health.
The government’s review of the industry as a whole is long overdue and it is shameful that it took the PIP scandal to prompt it. The NHS has been picking up the pieces of this industry for too long.
Here at Price Slater Gawne we would like to see some easy changes that would improve patient protection:
- a strict code for the advertising of cosmetic surgery results using “real” results not models and where offers and promotions are prohibited
- compulsory UK insurance for both the surgeons and the clinics. Too many patients find that one or either is uninsured and unable to meet any damages. This would have protected many of the women who may now lose out after the clinics that sold them PIP implants have closed down.
- compulsory checks of GPs to determine if there are any physical or psychological aspects to the patient’s history that would make surgery a bad idea
- testing of all new treatments before they are approved for UK use. We see a new form of lipo suction come out of South America all too often and those who adopt it are often pioneering treatments on patients who may not know just how new it is
- a longer compulsory cooling off period with mandatory literature provision so that an informed choice can be made. Such literature to detail all the risks of the procedures not just the commonly occurring ones as this is not therapeutic surgery but elective procedures that are un-necessary in most cases strict regulation of the sales tactics used by clinics. Some adopt subtle pressure tactics similar to those used in double glazing (this offer is only available if you sign today etc) which frustrate the purpose of any cooling off period as the financial commitment has already been made
- an end to cheap finance packages offered by clinics. These clinics have expanded massively by offering people finance to pay for something they often did not need and could not afford. We have seen clients who were on benefits yet had been able to get interest free finance for a breast augmentation.