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Shots and blasts: weekend Botox courses and laser bonanza

Surgeons to Highlight New Dangers in Annual Conference

London – 23 September, 2010 – Despite public indignation resulting from last week’s report into rogue cosmetic surgery providers and the launch of a voluntary register for providers of injectables, October will see even further dangers revealed with the imminent deregulation of laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, and the proliferation of half-day and weekend courses for Botox and injectables.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, have already recorded an increase in patients with injury and burns stemming from these developments. A presentation occurring during the BAAPS Annual Scientific Meeting (22-24 September at the Royal College of Physicians) will deal specifically with filler complications and a member who specialises in lasers has seen a rise of a third in people seeking corrective treatment and legal redress after botched laser treatment.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and outgoing President Nigel Mercer; “The proposed deregulation means that providers offering powerful laser treatments will not be overseen by the Care Quality Commission or indeed, anyone. In an environment where clinicians are continually asking for tighter controls it is absurd that the Government should actually be seeking to further deregulate.”

Laser therapy is one of the most common non-surgical procedures used in treating lines, wrinkles, scars and damaged skin. Hair reduction, treatment of vascular birthmarks, and tattoo removal can be achieved with lasers and IPL is suitable for hair removal from larger areas such as backs and legs.

The BAAPS will today discuss this and other developments in the industry including weekend and half-day Botox and injectables courses, including one aimed at people with no medical training whatsoever, which boasts of training tattoo artists and acupuncturists (

According to Nigel Mercer;

“These weekend courses have sprung up around the country and a voluntary register such as the one launched last week will be powerless to stop them.

This course in particular even boasted of an attendee who felt that the fact he’d had diabetes and treated himself with insulin for years meant he was qualified to inject his family and friends with Botox!”

All that is required by this course is to pass a basic Anatomy and Physiology course, which can be sourced from a multitude of correspondence courses nationwide. To prove competency, attendees just have to inject four people on the day. If they manage less than the four required, they will still receive a certificate of attendance to enable them to continue to injecting people until they build a ‘portfolio of evidence’ that will upgrade them to ‘competent’. The website does state that although Botox is a prescription medicine, they can provide attendees with a list of doctors willing to prescribe.

According to new BAAPS President and consultant plastic surgeon Fazel Fatah; “The problem isn’t who can inject – but who is equipped to deal with the consequences when treatments go wrong.”

The BAAPS conference this year will see the unveiling of many new procedures and techniques, which will be presented to an audience of around 200 surgeons. Themes include:

• The Brazilian tummy tuck – taking the surgical world by storm

• Buttock enhancement and the “Miami Thong Lift”

• Post-obesity surgery: the 'all-round' or circumferential tummy tuck (belt lipectomy)

• Neck-muscle reshaping for slim/young patients who don't have "turkey necks"

• Impact of the use of recreational drugs in cosmetic surgery patients

• What makes a beautiful belly button and do all races agree?

• Turn your nose up? Nasal tip preferences for females

• And many others…


The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

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