London — The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has condemned the marketing of procedures such as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty via the discount website Groupon.
The “one-day-only” offer is for £1,999 (about $3,200) instead of £5,000 (about $8,000) for what the site bills as “Cosmetic Surgery Such as Breast Augmentation and Rhinoplasty.” The site displays a countdown clock and a “Buy it for a Friend” option, and lists the number of offers already booked.
In a BAAPS-issued statement, plastic surgeon Adam Searle, M.D., a former association president, said, “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.”
The statement goes on to note that “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 called on the U.K.’s Care Quality Commission and other regulatory bodies to investigate how medical procedures can be offered in this manner and the quality of care being provided.
The country’s Independent Healthcare authority states that advertisements must not offer discounts linked to a deadline date for booking appointments or surgery, according to the BAAPS statement.