Plastic not so fantastic?

Peter Paterson, surgical director of the pioneering Sandon House Clinic in Preston and a consultant at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital in Blackpool
Peter Paterson, surgical director of the pioneering Sandon House Clinic in Preston and a consultant at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital in Blackpool
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YOU can have it in your lunch hour and now you can even have it in the comfort of your own home – an instant lift, with the promise of making you look younger, getting rid of those unsightly lines.

But now a leading Fylde plastic surgeon is calling for a crackdown on Britain’s cosmetic cowboys and warned of the dangers of “backstreet botox.”

Peter Paterson, a consultant at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, Blackpool, has warned mobile botox clinics, operated by poorly trained or rogue operators, have begun operating across the county – massively increasing the threat of botched procedures.

He says the increasing number of self-styled cosmetic ‘experts’ – with little or no training – is worryingly increasing the risks of users suffering significant complications.

Mr Paterson, who trained at King’s College Hospital Medical School, is calling for more education and information to be made available to the public, to help people considering cosmetic procedures make safe choices.

The respected plastic surgeon, who is surgical director of the pioneering Sandon House Clinic in Preston, carried out his own research into the problem of unqualified operators and says he is deeply concerned by his findings, which include a growth in mobile botox clinics carrying out the procedure at a client’s home.

He said: “The problem is anyone can set themselves up as a cosmetic practitioner. Training usually means an afternoon botox or filler course and off you go.

“It certainly doesn’t make any doctor, nurse or beautician an expert, and I have grave concerns about the level of knowledge they may have if something goes wrong.

“Ask them about their medical insurance and qualifications.

“People have to ask themselves why they would want someone to come into their home to inject them, or consider the logic of having these treatments performed outside of a clinic environment and to think of the very important issues of hygiene and safety.

“At Sandon House, I’ve had to counsel people who have had botched procedures, and the fact is there are many more people out there who are too embarrassed to come forward after something has gone wrong.

“People may think it’s a cheaper way to get the procedure done, but it isn’t, and you really are increasing the risks of complications.

“Nobody is managing the system at the moment, it is not being policed at all. There has to be a ‘safety first’ approach to all cosmetic procedures and my fear is that in a growing numbers of cases that isn’t the approach being taken.

“I would like to see more information being made available, so people can make informed, correct decisions that they will not live to possible regret.”

His call comes as a national campaign has been launched by Baroness Shireen Ritchie, stepmother of film director Guy, which includes a new independent working group targeting rogue providers of cosmetic jabs.

It will investigate complaints from patients and also aims to punish registered clinics which breach safety standards.