To say that 'the worm has turned' would be something of an understatement. For decades, so-called developed nations such as the United Kingdom looked down upon the medical treatments available in countries like Thailand. However, while Thailand is now one of the world’s best cosmetic surgery centers, the UK is floundering. In 2009, Nigel Mercer, the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, admitted that the cosmetic surgery industry needed to be more tightly regulated because of the increasing number of accidents caused by unqualified surgeons.
It seems that his words of warnings were ignored because 18 months later, a poll of over 360 sites that offered cosmetic surgery in the UK yielded some damning evidence of malpractice. At the Naravee Aesthetic Center in Bangkok, we always perform psychological evaluations. This two-step process is an essential element in ensuring that patients are sure of what they're doing. We give them time to evaluate their decision and provide advice. In the UK, over 30% of clinics failed to provide a service we consider to be basic.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks in part to budget cuts in the UK, the cosmetic surgery industry is being short-changed because it is deemed to be non-essential. Recent reports suggest that surgeons who are ill-equipped to perform certain procedures are being forced to complete them because more experienced surgeons are unavailable. It’s accepted that most clinics needs to perform at least 20 surgeries a year in order to have the required experience. In fact, 80% of clinics dont meet this requirement when it comes to breast reductions and 75% don’t have enough experience to carry out facelifts.
Surgeons who are experts in one cosmetic field are asked to carry out surgeries in a different area, a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Compare this to the government funding the industry receives in Thailand not to mention the hundreds of high quality private clinics. No longer is Thailand the poor relation of cosmetic surgery, now it is top of the pile.
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