A recent story on the news wires claims that physicians in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) system are persuaded by patients to perform free cosmetic surgery by exaggerating their unhappiness with their looks. The story is based on research to be published in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery that claims surgeons are being cajoled into offering patients cosmetic procedures they do not need. “It exposes the lengths to which some women go to persuade surgeons to operate on them for nothing – using ploys such as unflattering make-up and clothing,” says the report.

Among the operations being offered free are tummy tucks, breast implants and nose jobs.

Today surgeons claim the soaring demand for cosmetic surgery on the NHS is putting a huge strain on resources. They say many patients are placing doctors in an impossible position by refusing to accept they cannot have free surgery, the report says. Until recently, it has only been available in exceptional cases, for example, when patients are extremely disfigured or need corrective work following an accident.

Even though government guidelines stress that operations such as nose jobs and breast enlargements are only justified in very specific cases, the study finds that surgeons are turning a blind eye to the rules because of pressure from patients.

The research team, led by Professor Peter Salmon of the University of Liverpool, finds that some surgeons agree to operate – despite knowing there are no medical grounds – because they cannot face the time and misery involved in turning patients down.

Company Director, and former MD of an International Cosmetic Surgery Group Andrew Cooper, who specialises in finding clients leading surgeons and providers of their chosen surgery admitted more clients are aiming to get surgery for free on the NHS.

It strikes me as improbable that physicians would opt to go through the entire process of patient consult, acquiescing to patient fantasies about what procedure needs to be done, then schedule and follow through on that actual surgery… just because the doctor does not feel like telling the patient, “No”?

More detail from UK sources:

He said: “Our aim is to place patients with leading hospitals, clinics and surgeons and we tend not to disappoint. However patients are looking for not only a cheap deal but a free deal. Patients have suggested being filmed and the footage used on TV or on the Web Site of Surgical Providers in order to get it for free, or even said if they appear depressed enough they could get referred through their GP.”

Top 10 operations Most requested cosmetic surgery on the NHS: 1: Tummy tucks 2: Mole removal 3: Breast enhancement 4: Scar removal 5: Nose job 6: Breast reduction 7: Acne scar removal 8: Correcting breast asymmetry 9: Ear pinned back 10: Removal of bags under eyes

Andrew Cooper has worked with Cosmetic Surgery for over 9 years in the UK, Europe and the United States where Surgery can be paid through insurance, especially in the cases of Weight Loss Surgery. “I have been all over the world developing Cosmetic Surgery businesses and what’s fundamentally important is the NHS don’t take on patients that have no adverse medical conditions when their desire is pure vanity. There are plenty of providers offering very reasonably priced surgical procedures for them in Care Quality Commission registered hospitals with GMC Registered Surgeons. The NHS has a huge job looking after the nation and shouldn’t be bogged down with vain people with a lump on their nose or small breasts, these people are not sick and should finance this surgery privately where ever possible.”