Expatica news

Plastic surgeons warn of cowboy nip-tuckers

4 May 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgian plastic surgeons have warned of a recent rise in unqualified doctors performing cosmetic procedures on unsuspecting patients, French-language daily La Derniere Heure reported on Wednesday.

“Our discipline is being exercised more and more by unrecognised doctors with little training and experience,” said Albert De Mey, president of the Belgian Society for Plastic Reconstructive and Esthetic Surgery.

“The risk of medical errors inevitably increases,” he warned.

At least 13 years of study are normally required in Belgium before someone can call themselves a plastic surgeon.

If patients are treated by unqualified medical professionals, they run the risk of receiving burns to the skin, for instance, or simply of undergoing procedures they have been pressured into but probably do not need.

De Mey called upon properly trained experts in the field need to face down their untrained counterparts – often general practitioners or other doctors looking to make a fast euro – for this “dangerous and disloyal” behaviour.

To this end, the Belgian Society for Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery is currently drawing up a ‘good conduct’ charter that will be sent to all of its 170 members.

“(It is) interesting for doctors who have seen their profits decreasing,” said De Mey.

“They throw themselves into it to earn money, while supporting the vulgarisation of plastic surgery.”

John Rodriguez, president of Belgium’s Medical Errors Association, praised the plastic surgeons’ initiative.

“While there must be a commercial ulterior motive, namely increased competition, these calls for prudence are positive for patients, who are in real danger of being treated by doctors who are not qualified.”

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news