24 July 2018 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2019 13:39)
According to Consultant Plastic Surgeon and former BAAPS President Rajiv Grover;
“As the highly-publicised story of Brazilian Doctor Denis Furtado (AKA Dr Bumbum) unfolds, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons stress the need for awareness in the reporting of ongoing investigations into the doctor’s actions and the patient’s tragic death. The BAAPS is unable to comment on individual cases, and this is of paramount importance when criminal behaviour may be involved. Nevertheless, this appalling account must be used as an opportunity to educate about the dangers of practices that BAAPS has previously condemned, but which continue to flourish.
The Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society have confirmed that Dr Furtado was not a trained plastic surgeon, and have stated that procedures should never be carried out in private homes, also warning against using PMMA - a synthetic resin also known as acrylic glass filler - for any aesthetic purposes. BAAPS warn that this raises three key issues for public concern:
Firstly, the fact that Dr Furtado is repeatedly and incorrectly being described in the media as a plastic surgeon (a specialism in which he is not trained). The ease with which non-surgeons and non-specialists can falsely title themselves to mislead patients; and can unethically perform surgical or non-surgical treatments outside of a sterile, clinical setting is outrageous. Non-surgical does not mean non-medical, and any practitioner providing invasive aesthetic treatment in a non-clinical environment is, at best, behaving unethically, and at worst, risking patients’ lives.
Secondly, the Brazilian society discuss injecting a permanent filler which is not approved by the FDA or labelled with a CE Mark. Although this itself was not illegal in Brazil, it perfectly illustrates that patients may not be aware of what an unscrupulous practitioner may be using to inject. This is highly significant since dermal fillers remain unregulated and can be injected by anyone under current U.K. law.
Thirdly, it is impossible to consider this case without acknowledging Dr Furtado’s tremendous social media presence of over 650,000 Instagram followers, which is thus encouraging him being described as a “celebrity ”. This should be a wake-up call - not only to prospective patients, who must realise that popularity does not equal qualifications, but also to those who regulate advertising. Currently, Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine marketing efforts on social media are not monitored by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). This allows clinics’ campaigns to target young and vulnerable people in a way that capitalises on negative body image, glamourising the results and never conveying the risks. We have seen this unconscionable behaviour time and again by even the most-recognised “high street” surgery chains. The lack of scrutiny or consequences they face sets the tone for smaller, less-accountable clinics - a process that normalises shocking and harmful commoditisation of medical treatment. We urge the ASA as well as the Government to take action to ban these unethical marketing practices, which - as this devastating story demonstrates - is putting lives at risk.”
About the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
The BAAPS (www.baaps.org.uk), 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: www.twitter.com/BAAPSMedia and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishAssociationofAestheticPlasticSurgeons
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