Lecture’s Name: Essay Example

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Title: Should government regulate cosmetic surgery?

Lecture’s Name:

Should government regulate cosmetic surgery?

Increasingly, a lot of people have been spending a lot of money in order to make themselves look more attractive. Therefore, this has made cosmetic surgery become a booming business over the years. However, the process used in carrying out plastic surgery is very complex and requires the practioner to have knowledge on the anatomy and good surgical skills. Furthermore, the practioner is also expected to have aesthetic appreciation. Besides, the sector has been under threat of unaccredited surgeons and lack of staff. Moreover, there have been scandals that have been reported in the cosmetic surgery sector which have led to government involvement (Rohrich, 2000). This essay will critically analyze whether the government should be regulate cosmetic surgery. This will be achieved by dividing the essay into health effect, high cost, and regulation of surgical operators in the industry and having informed and empowered public.

Every type of surgery has its risks. Henceforth, taking plastic surgery can result to health complications which are minor and in some instances fatal. Evidently, the major health effects of plastic surgery are scarring, nerve damage, infection, hematoma, seroma, blood clots, necrosis, bleeding and even death. Therefore, if the patient fails to follow the physician directions or smoke during the recovery, they risk getting scars. In addition, the nerve of the patients may get damaged during the cosmetic surgery procedure. This may lead to a situation where the patient has drooping eyes or mouth. Death of the patient is one of the most fatal outcomes; this may due to reaction of the patient to anesthesia. In some cases, seroma may occur if the lymphatic fluid collects in the site of injury. Henceforth, this shows that cosmetic surgery is a procedure that has adverse effects on health. The government should be more active in ensuring that there is regulation of cosmetic surgery (Honigman & Castle, 2004).

Equally important, plastic surgery is a costly procedure that has led to those undertaking it to use their savings. Concequently, this has also led to increase in medical tourism worldwide. Most of the patients from developed countries have been travelling to Mexico and India for surgery due to low cost. However, Cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance which makes it prudent to seek cheaper services in the developing countries. According to Lauren & Kevin (2013),
“a breast augmentation procedure that would cost $6,000 in the U.S. can be done for $2,200 in India. Even after the costs of airfare are factored in, having an operation overseas can be much less expensive”. This has led to concerns over the safety and quality of the plastic surgery. The risks of undergoing surgery in a foreign country lead to need of government’s regulation (Wolters Kluwer Health, 2013). The high cost of cosmetic surgery in the developed countries may lead to the public seeking cheaper alternatives which may lead to higher risks.

Additionally, lack of government control in most countries on cosmetic surgery has led to the high risky procedures being carried out by unqualified personnel. There has been lack of regulation on the use of dermal fillers as well as cosmetic surgery training. There has been public and professional outcry on the governments to have the regulation enforced. In UK, surgeons condemned the government on lack of regulations on cosmetic surgery. Furthermore, regulations ensure that the professionals carrying out the surgery are properly trained. A scandal that occurred due to lack of regulation is PIP implant scandal. High quality services and standards should be enforced by the governments universally in the cosmetic surgery sector. Those undertaking cosmetic surgery should have prior information on the professional qualifications of the physicians and whether the clinic is regulated (Clive, 2002). Additionally, the patients should also have protection incase the surgery goes wrong. Regulation is the best way to ensure there are ethics and high standards in the cosmetic surgery sector.

Furthermore, another reason for regulation is having informed and empowered public. The public that is undergoing plastic surgery should know the protection in place. This involves knowing that they are in safe hands and they are being given quality care they have paid for. The PIP scandal involved uninformed public. Nbly, the scandal gave insight into the effects of lack of enlightened and empowered public. There was also lack of consistent and well coordinated records which would have made it easier to identify the victims (Department of Health, 2002). If there was regulation, the records would have been consistent. The public also becomes empowered if there is government intervention.

In conclusion, cosmetic surgery has become a booming business leading to concerns over the safety of the procedure. There has been low government intervention in most countries despite the sensitivity of the procedure. The procedure has health issues and high cost to the patients. The health effects are many ranging from bruising to death. The high cost has led to patients seeking cheaper services in the developing countries which can lead to risk. Government intervention has been slow, leading to risky procedures being performed. The public have not be enlightened and empowered on matters of cosmetic surgery. Therefore, government should regulate cosmetic surgery and ensure there is standard and quality services in the cosmetic surgery sector.


Clive, O. (2002). Regulating cosmetic surgery, British Medical Journal, 324(7348), 1229-1230.

Department of Health. (2002). Independent health care. national minimum standards

regulations. London: Stationery Office.

Honigman, R., P. K. & Castle, D.J. (2004). A Review of Psychological outcomes for

patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 113(4), 1229-1237.

Lauren E. F. & Kevin C. (2013). Impact of Medical Tourism on Cosmetic Surgery in the United

States. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Global Open.

Rohrich. R. (2000).The increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery procedures: a look at statistics

in plastic surgery. Plastic Reconstruction Surgery, pp. 106:1363.

Wolters Kluwer Health. (2013, October 30). Rise of medical tourism shows impact on cosmetic

surgery market. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 4, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030125546.htm