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Surgery online coupons slammed

Time-linked incentives violate code of ethics, say surgeons

London – 27 May, 2011 – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( today condemned the marketing of serious medical procedures such as breast augmentation and nose jobs via popular online discount website Groupon. The one-day only offer is for £1,999 Instead of £5,000 for ‘Cosmetic Surgery Such as Breast Augmentation and Rhinoplasty ’, displays a countdown clock (only 9 hours left!) and a ‘Buy it for a friend’ option. The site lists 17 of these offers have been booked already.

Consultant plastic surgeon Adam Searle, former President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said:

“This trivialisation and commoditisation of medical procedures is appalling. It seems to have come down to the level of loyalty cards, money-off vouchers, and even competition prizes. This belittling of the seriousness of undertaking a medical procedure degrades not only our specialty but also the medical profession as a whole. The true tragedy is that within this epidemic of rather tasteless activity there are going to be patients who experience significant complications and lifelong damage from pursuing ill-planned and ill-thought out operations. Sensible and educated decision making about aesthetic plastic surgery is in danger of being lost.”

He adds;

“Any patient making irreversible decisions in circumstances of hype, excitement and emotion, are putting themselves at very great risk. Any normal patient – doctor relationship is completely abandoned in any such framework of medical care. This is a practice I unreservedly and utterly condemn.”

According to consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Douglas McGeorge;

“The fact that extensive surgical procedures are being sold at £1,999 certainly begs the question where the providers might be cutting corners.”

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Fazel Fatah;

“Selling surgical procedures without patients being first assessed for suitability is highly unethical and goes against every guideline and recommendation from the General Medical Council and the surgical associations. The BAAPS would like to call upon the Care Quality Commission and other regulatory bodies to investigate how medical procedures can be offered in this way and what quality of care is being provided.”

‘Good Medical Practice in Cosmetic Surgery’ by the Independent Healthcare authority (IHAS) clearly states: Advertisements must not offer discounts linked to a deadline date for booking appointments or surgery or other date-linked incentives.


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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