“We need transparency and accreditation to protect unsuspecting patients,” he said.
Professor Deva said it was essential for the government to establish a path for the formal certification and safe practice of cosmetic surgery so that the regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, can administer it.
“Because a cosmetic surgeon can practice without needing proper certification, it’s difficult to enforce regulation on something that doesn’t exist within the regulatory framework. “
Last month, a joint investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and all corners of the ABC have uncovered a list of disturbing practices at the clinics of famed cosmetic surgeon Daniel Lanzer, including allegations of serious health and safety violations and sloppy procedures.
This sparked calls from leading medical groups, including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons, for restrictions on which doctors can sell themselves as cosmetic surgeons.
In November 2019, health ministers agreed to restrict the title of “surgeon”, but the laws have not yet been changed.
In the Herald This month Patrick Tansley, president of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine, said the college is calling for regulation and accreditation for all physicians who perform cosmetic surgery, as “there is something for everything other specialized area of practice “.
“All physicians performing cosmetic surgery would have to meet a national accreditation standard and be listed on a register of cosmetic surgeons. The standard would require essential training, qualifications, skills and recertification specific to cosmetic surgery,” said writes Dr Tansley.
Ten years ago, around 6,000 Australian women had breast implants inserted each year, Dr Deva said, today up to 20,000, of which around 75% for cosmetic augmentation and 25% for reconstruction after cancer treatment.
This month, the Cancer Institute NSW launched a major surveillance project to monitor and track breast implants used for reconstructive surgery in women who have had breast cancer, using large datasets.
Sarah McGill, acting CEO of the institute, said using 20 years of data will help better understand patient outcomes after breast cancer reconstruction with implants.
“The Therapeutic Goods Administration strongly encourages consumers and healthcare professionals to report all issues associated with medical devices, including breast implants,” she said.
Data from the Australian Breast Device Registry shows that the most common complications are capsular contraction (contraction of breast tissue around the implant) and malposition (some movement of the breast device in the breast tissue), but the overall risk of these complications is low.
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took several new steps to introduce warnings and a checklist to educate patients about the risks and side effects of implants.
In 2020, Australia’s medical device watchdog banned the use of three breast implants over concerns that heavily textured implants carry an increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants.
“The pandemic has seen a drop in the number of cases, as with other cancers, but we are now seeing a rebound,” Professor Deva said.
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