The risks of cosmetic surgery

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on

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risks of cosmetic surgery
There are many places that you can have cosmetic surgery, but if you are considering such treatment do you know who your surgeon is? Is s/he registered with the General Medical Council (GMC)? Do they have insurance so that you can attempt to get your money back or claim compensation if the surgery goes wrong? Are they registered to perform the procedure that you want to have?

Cosmetic treatments that do not involve surgery, or lasers and intense pulsed lights, are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England and therefore, do not have to be licensed with them. These include:

  • muscle relaxing injections such as VISTABEL, Botox and Dysport 
  • techniques using cells, tissue or synthetic products (dermal fillers). 
  • chemical peels 
  • non-surgical laser and intense light treatments, such as hair removal 

If you are planning a treatment, it may be useful to check the CQC website to find out what, if any, regulation is required.  If you are intending to have a cosmetic procedure which is regulated such as Smartlipo, laser eye surgery, weight loss surgery, tummy tucks,  breast  surgery or any other type of cosmetic surgery involving full or local anaesthetic you can check to make sure that the doctor/practitioner is registered. The CQC website provides further information.

This site also details what you can do if you are concerned about cosmetic surgery treatment that you have had and how to make a complaint.

If I intended to have cosmetic surgery I would definitely check out who was going to perform my surgery, ensure that they were registered, if they needed to be and had appropriate insurance.

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If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at

About the Author

Photograph of Patricia Wakeford

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
Email Patricia
023 8085 7310

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