Cosmetic surgery crackdown in NSW to focus on breast implants, liposuction.

By medical reporter Sophie Scott and the National Reporting Team’s Rebecca Armitage.

Health authorities in NSW have announced a major crackdown on cosmetic surgery providers after several women suffered life threatening complications while having procedures.

New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner says from next year, procedures such as breast implants, tummy tucks and liposuction will need to be carried out in facilities that have the same licensing standards as private hospitals.

“Reports of significant adverse health outcomes for some patients has led to growing public concern over high-risk practices by some operators,” she said.

Cosmetic surgeons will be subject to the same licensing rules that apply to private health hospitals.

That means doctors will no longer be permitted to perform major procedures like breast augmentation, tummy tucks and liposuction in non-hospital settings.

“These changes will ensure a safer regulatory environment for patients undergoing selected cosmetic surgical procedures,” Ms Skinner said.

Facilities that carry out these procedures will have nine months to obtain the proper licensing under the Private Health Facilities Act and Regulation.

The NSW Health Ministry announced the review into the state’s cosmetic surgery in September 2015 after a woman was rushed to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during a routine breast enhancement.

She was the second woman in nine months to go into cardiac arrest during a procedure at The Cosmetic Institute (TCI).

In January 2015, 21-year-old Amy Rickhuss nearly died when her heart stopped during her breast augmentation.


An ABC investigation found that six patients suffered potentially life-threatening complications during procedures at TCI, including rapid heartbeat and seizures.

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission found that the clinics “placed the health and safety of the public at risk” by using high doses of anaesthetic on patients without their consent.

“The changes … will ensure a safer regulatory environment for patients undergoing selected cosmetic surgical procedures,” Ms Skinner said.

In May 2016, the Medical Board of Australia announced tougher national guidelines for doctors who perform cosmetic surgery.

The industry overhaul, which comes into effect in October 2016, includes mandatory cooling off periods for patients who choose to go under the knife and stricter guidelines for providers.

Practitioners must take explicit responsibility for post-operative care, and provide patients with written information about the costs of their procedure.

In the last decade, two young Australian women have died and several other have been rushed to hospital with serious complications after undergoing cosmetic procedures.

In 2007, 26-year-old Melbourne woman Lauren James died after suffering complications from a liposuction procedure on her legs and buttocks.

Just over a year later, 28-year-old Lauren Edgar from Adelaide died from a bacterial infection after also undergoing liposuction.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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