Women’s desire to get perfect, beautiful breasts prompted a number of cosmetic surgeons to come up with unlicensed cosmetic surgery clinics. However, the New South Wales (NSW) government is tightening its noose implementing new laws that might ban many cosmetic surgeons from illegally doing breast implants at reduced costs. The move comes after a number of patients had to be rushed to hospital following breast augmentation surgery.

In the last two years, several patients had to be admitted after breast enlargement surgeries. The patients reportedly had their breasts augmented at private cosmetic surgery clinics. This has forced Health Care Complaints Commission to investigate at least three clinics, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Breast implants in NSW or any other cosmetic surgeries for that matter do not require doctors to have specialisations. The practices simply need to be licensed by Private Health Facilities Act if the procedures require patients to be sedated via anaesthetics.

The issue came to light after it was found out that some of the doctors in certain clinics were using harmful anaesthetics and resorting to botched procedures, reports ABC News. Questions have been raised against these procedures and the kind of anaesthetics being used.

Only last year, Krystle Morgan, a Wollongong woman suffered a lung puncture during breast augmentation surgery at The Cosmetic Institute in Bondi. In January, Amy Rickhuss too suffered a cardiac arrest when undergoing a similar procedure at the same company’s Paramatta clinic.

The NSW government has revealed that it feels a new class of cosmetic surgery must be included in the current laws. This will ensure that cosmetic surgery procedure can be done only in licensed hospitals and private health clinics. The Medical Board of Australia too is reviewing the billion dollar industry.

The NSW Health website has posted a discussion paper inviting stakeholders, industry experts and the public to share views on the new class of regulation and how it could be defined.

“We will consider whether there is further regulation of the industry, whether it requires legislation or regulation to make it safer for patients,” Health Minister Jillian Skinner said.

The cosmetic procedures under review are breast implants, tummy tucks, buttock implants, liposuction, neck and face lifts and penis augmentation. Numerous clinics perform these procedures at present without proper hospital resuscitation equipment.

The new laws can make it mandatory for surgeons and clinics to have a three-month cooling off period for patients under 18 years and mandatory assessment by a registered psychiatrist or psychologist. Adults should also be given a cooling off period before the procedures.

Other changes may require doctors to guide patients on informed consent, the risks and complications involved with the surgeries. Doctors must take full responsibility of post-operative care and that would include emergency facilities during analgesia or sedation. The laws can also make it mandatory for doctors to have face-to-face consultations when prescribing injectables like Botox. All patients should get details of cost involved.

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