The French company Poly Implants Prothe’ses, (PIP) fraudulently manufactured PIP breast implants using industrial grade silicone (In place of medical grade) and supplied to estimated 400,000 women in 65 countries worldwide endangering their health.
Since the days it became clear that the below grade breast silicone implants were used by so many women, creating the biggest scandal in cosmetic surgery industry, a debate had been continuing whether cosmetic surgery should be encouraged or banned internationally.
The fact is that these implants ruptured in more numbers than other similar implants, spilling industrial grade silicone directly on the internal body tissues and raised serious medical anxieties among the users, governments, regulators and people in general
The Op-ed titled “Is it time to ban cosmetic surgery?” byAlexander Edmonds an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, published in the Los Angeles Times dated January 04,2012 and the response titled “Cosmetic surgery: Protecting the right to choose ““ safely” by Jeffrey M. Kenkel, a medical doctor and the president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery published in the same paper on January 10, 2012, present their respective view points. These two sets of view points of the debate, however, do not oppose each other in any big way.
Alexander Edmonds does not really call for any ban and instead says “Perhaps the latest implant scandal is just a misstep on the path to greater safety in aesthetic surgeries” and suggests the need for more awareness of the health risks in cosmetic procedures by concluding “As beauty becomes a more visible part of medicine, health risks may become less visible. And that is a big risk.”
Jeffry M Kenkel defends the people’s right to choose cosmetic surgery safely and concludes by saying “A surgeon manages risk, regardless of the procedure, by focusing on patient safety, whether the surgery is aesthetically based or medically necessary. We should respect a patient’s right to choose, and protect that choice through guidance and vigorous participation in the medical process.“
Obviously in the PIP case, apart from the manufacturer’s serious wrongdoing, there were regulatory failures in several European countries and elsewhere and failures on part of the cosmetic surgeons treating the patients. A large number of these implants were reportedly used in patients on “medical vacations” in foreign countries where the quality of medical services could be unacceptably deficient and the patients were less vigilant about their own safety.
These failures are the kind of health risks which put the cosmetic surgery industry on the defensive. On the other hand, the statistics show that the number of cosmetic surgeries are on the rise internationally with new procedures, advanced techniques and after care processes.
In America, many leading cosmetic surgeons with well honed skill in different surgeries are able to meet the twin objectives of maintaining patient safety and achieving patients’ goals. This increases patients’ confidence and they are taking up cosmetic surgeries in large numbers.
The promotion and advertisement are bringing cosmetic surgery in forefront of popular culture. The people are shedding inhibition and are ready to take advantages of what cosmetic surgery may bring to them by enhancing physical appearance and inducing feel-good effect.
Cosmetic surgery seems to have caught the imagination of people in all age groups and people are using different types of surgeries to look good and be happy. Cosmetic surgery is seen by some people as a way to pursue happiness which is perfectly in sync with the happiness part of the oft repeated American motto of “Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness”
All these augur well for cosmetic surgeries and despite PIP and other damaging episodes, the cosmetic surgeries and the industry are here to stay and grow.
The key is to find a cosmetic surgeon who provides the safest procedure for your cosmetic needs. Regarding breast augmentation, one of the safest techniques that has the least side effects is the Awake Breast Augmentation procedure. Find out more about this procedure at www.awakebreastaug.net .