44% rise in botched cosmetic surgery abroad as travel restrictions lift
The number of patients being treated for serious complications following cosmetic surgery abroad rose by 44% last year as travel restrictions began to lift and consumers sought out cheap deals.
A new audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) showed that the annual number rose by 44% in 2021 compared to the previous year, a period when people were being advised against elective surgery and unnecessary travel.
In 2021, 75 women and seven men were treated for complications, which included some with lifethreatening problems such as the need for emergency surgical removal (debridement) of dead skin tissue and admission to intensive care for life support following systemic infection.
A survey of BAAPS council members showed that 100% of complications came from Turkey and that abdominoplasty accounted for 75% of complications, followed by breast surgery procedures at 25%.
BAAPS said the rise is also likely to have been driven by “Zoom Boom”, the demand for aesthetic procedures driven by increased awareness of one’s appearance on screen, lack of local cosmetic surgery availability and the enticement of cheap cosmetic surgery deals.
This lack of individual responsibility is being highlighted by BAAPS, as many patients suffering complications are treated on an already strained NHS.
One study presented to BAAPS in 2017 suggested the average cost to the NHS per patient was £13,500, a figure which is now estimated to be closer to £15,000.
BAAPS president Mary O’Brien said, “When patients go abroad for cosmetic surgery, they usually have no knowledge of the competence and experience of the surgeon, and there is very little prospect of follow-up care and advice.”
New study shows potential to make skin cells act 30 years younger
Scientists have devised a new technique that has the potential to make skin cells perform as if they were 30 years younger.
The researchers, from Babraham Institute in Cambridge, have discovered a way to rejuvenate cells without changing their identity, which could be used to treat skin conditions in the future.
Diljeet Gill and his colleagues at the Babraham Institute have developed a method that uses Yamanaka factors to rejuvenate skin cells without losing their previous functionality.
Yamanaka factors were first developed in 2007 by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University in Japan.
The technique can transform adult skins cells into stem cells by inserting four specialist molecules that reverse cell development.
In the 2007 study, it took around 50 days of exposure to Yamanaka factors for normal cells to be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). However, these iPSCs lost the original cell type and its functionality.
In the new study, reported in eLife journal, Gill and his team collected skin cell samples from three human donors that had an average age of 50.
The cells were then exposed to Yamanaka factors for 13 days to partially anti-age the cells. The Yamanaka factors were then removed and the cells left to grow.
Gill and the Babraham Institute team found that the epigenetic clock and transcriptome profiles of the partially reprogrammed cells matched the profiles of skin cells that belonged to people who were 30 years younger.
The rejuvenated cells also functioned like younger ones, creating more collagen than those that didn’t undergo reprogramming.
1064nm lasers prove most effective for tattoo removal in study
In a pre-clinical study comparing four types of lasers for tattoo removal, 1064nm came lasers out on top due to their ability to recruit macrophages, the white blood cells that play an essential role in pigment metabolism.
Tattoo models with black ink were treated with 1064nm nanosecond, 1064nm picosecond, 755nm and 595nm lasers for one session.
The study evaluated and analysed the clinical photographic, melanin index and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, and demonstrated that increased macrophage recruitment plays an essential role in laser tattoo removal.
The preclinical report, titled ‘Comparative study of 1064nm nanosecond, 1064nm picosecond, 755 nm, and 595 nm lasers for tattoo removal: An essential role by macrophage’, was published in Lasers in Surgery and
Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).
The authors, led by Xiao-Jie Du MD, investigated whether superior tattoo clearance was associated with increased macrophage recruitment.
While there was no significant difference between the effectiveness of 1064nm nanosecond and picosecond lasers for tattoo removal, the 1064nm nanosecond laser had the strongest macrophage recruitment.
The authors concluded that the 1064nm nanosecond lasers are the most effective for black tattoo removal due to higher macrophage recruitment, which plays an essential role in pigment metabolism during laser-tattoo removal.
Diversification drives growth for healthcare provider
Manchester-based healthcare and wellbeing provider Transform Hospital Group, which specialises in cosmetic surgery, weight loss surgery and medical aesthetics, has posted revenue growth of 47% year-on-year to £47.8m and a gross profit increase of 35% to £20.5m for the year ending December 31, 2021.
Operating profit rose to £1.5m compared with a marginal loss in 2020. Private patient numbers were also bolstered, increasing by 63% year-on-year.
The growth has been driven by a successful pivot in business strategy led by commercial director David Shirra, clinical services director Christine Mozzamdar and finance director Vicki Milton.
As well as quickly adapting to become a partner to the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis,
THGL has diversified its business to become a broader-based healthcare and wellbeing provider.
It now offers an expanded range of services, including orthopaedics and general surgery, to a wider customer base, and has launched a B2B brand offering ‘white label’ services to other healthcare providers, independent surgeons and surgeon consortia.
Dr Patrick Treacy publishes new book on the evolution of aesthetic medicine
Aesthetic medicine practitioner Dr Patrick Treacy has published a book covering the history of the discipline.
Titled The Evolution of Aesthetic Medicine: The Evolution of a New Field of Medicine by a Pioneer Voted the Top Aesthetic Doctor in the World, the book provides a historical narrative of how botulinum toxin, dermal fillers and laser technologies made their way into the emergent field of aesthetic medicine, and monitors its evolution into a separate faculty.
Dr Treacy said, “The term ‘aesthetic medicine’ now encompasses a more generalised term covering procedures that tend to focus on altering cosmetic appearance.
“Traditionally, there has always been conflict as to which specialism owns this territory. It was only in the early part of the 20th century when some of these cosmetic procedures gradually were included in the medical discipline.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cynosure launches MyEllevate
Cynosure has launched the MyEllevate Surgical Suture System, which uses the patented ICLED light-guided suture system. MyEllevate allows practitioners to easily place a suture support system without incisions, helping to define and enhance the jawline, elevate the subdermis and underlying muscle. Cynosure launched MyEllevate at an exclusive cadaver training event hosted by Gregory Mueller, inventor of the system. MyEllevate will only be available to plastic surgeons in the UK.
Croma Pharma receives approval for new toxin
Croma Pharma has announced the national approval for its new letibotulinumtoxi in the UK. The neurotoxin is approved for the treatment of glabellar lines and has been shown to have consistent efficacy and tolerability with repeated injection and demonstrated high patient satisfaction. Its active ingredient demonstrated non-inferiority in the treatment of glabellar lines compared with onabotulinumtoxin A and there was a 94% response rate four weeks after injection.
BCAM brings Jean Carruthers to UK
World-renowned aesthetic doctor Jean Carruthers will present to an intimate audience at the 2022 British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) conference in September and will stage exclusive masterclasses for college members.
Doctors and dentists working in the aesthetic medicine sector can register for the conference at Church House, Westminster, London, on Saturday 10 September via bcamconference.co.uk at a cost of £350 including lunch. BCAM members benefit from an early bird offer and reduced rate. The one-day conference will feature scientific and business streams, offering a wealth of clinical and practical information for delegates.
Health Canada approves sale of NeoGenPSR
Energist and its Canadian distribution partners have announced Health Canada’s recent approval of the NeoGenPSR as a class III medical device. for treatment of rhytids, wrinkles, superficial skin lesions, actinic keratosis, viral papillomata, seborrheic keratosis and acne scars. The NeoGenPSR is manufactured by Energist in the UK.
New hospital opens in Battersea
Real Clinic, a state-of-the-art hospital and clinic, has opened in the heart of Battersea, offering a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments.
The hospital is the concept of consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Mr Naveen Cavale – having worked in the NHS for over 25 years, he built up a thriving private practice.
Joining him as founding partners are consultant anaesthetist Dr Neel Desai and consultant ophthalmologist Dr Robbie Walker.
Based a few minutes’ walk from Battersea tube station, Real Clinic is a purpose-built hospital that was designed by the people who will be using it every day. With years of experience under their belt, they knew how to create a space that would maximise their patients’ wellbeing journey.
The hospital holds CQC status, meaning the highest standards are followed and implemented when it comes to safety, hygiene and general practice.
Liposomal vitamin C could help covid recovery
Results from a programme run by Dr Matteo Tosato at the Gemelli Hospital involved the use of combined nutrients and indicated that liposomal vitamin C may be one of the key vitamins to help the recovery process for covid.
Vitamin C has long been used for immune support, and researchers want to understand the power liposomal forms of vitamin C may hold for both treatment and recovery from long-term covid symptoms.
Liposomal supplement brand Altrient’s founder and director Jonathan Orchard said, “Up to 85% of the vitamin C contained in tablets and powders is destroyed in the digestive system, and to benefit from all the therapeutic aspects of vitamin C, enough needs to reach and saturate the cells and tissues.”
New marketing membership site helps medical consultants grow private practice
On April 4, a new online membership site opened its doors exclusively to UK consultants, physicians and surgeons who want to learn how to grow a successful private practice.
Founded by healthcare marketer Chris Rogers, Private Practice Surgery will offer marketing training, resources and support to help members fill their private clinics with patients.
The training library currently includes the ‘Marketing Essentials’ pathway. This eight-stage signature course guides members through the basics of promoting their private practice, from cultivating relationships with GPs and insurers to creating a Google-friendly website that attracts bookings.
Chris Rogers said, “During my career, I’ve met many consultants who are unsure, frustrated or overwhelmed when it comes to promoting their private practice.
“That’s why, through Private Practice Surgery, I want to use all my knowledge and experience to help consultants reach their business goals more quickly and easily – whether they’ve yet to start practising privately or have been doing so for a while.”
Faces Consent app partners with Payl8r for payments
Aesthetics app Faces Consent has signed a deal with online finance firm Payl8r which will allow Faces Consent users to buy stock and pay later.
Faces Consent was launched two and a half years ago by entrepreneurs Ben O’Brien and Ashley Simpson Davies (pictured) as an app to house the consent forms for their own private aesthetic clinic.
They soon realised the technology had potential for use in other clinics and gave free access to other aesthetic practitioners.
Faces Consent is now used to create client consent forms and purchase pharmaceutical products and has more than 45,000 registered users, 90% of which are UK based.
While the app itself is free, Faces Consent has a range of commercial partnerships which bring in revenue.
It currently sees an average of £20,000 of pharmaceutical sales each day as practitioners purchase products such as toxins and fillers directly within the app. This figure is likely to increase and the Faces Consent team has plans to increase the product range.
Payl8r has now become the exclusive buy now pay later (BNPL) partner for Faces Consent in a deal that is expected to bring in £24 million in revenue to Payl8r in the first nine to 12 months.
Samantha Fogerty, managing director at Payl8r said: “The app processes around 3,000 transactions every day and we’re delighted to offer their 45,000 users flexible finance to buy now and pay later.”
Ben O’Brien, co-founder and managing director of Faces Consent, added: “We spent a lot of time looking into building our own finance technology, but it soon became apparent it would be easier to partner with an existing buy now pay later brand.”
AnteAGE Eye launch event hosts aesthetic practitioners from across the UK
Cellese Regenerative Therapeutics invited aesthetic practitioners from across the UK to a VIP champagne reception at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge in March.
The event was held to showcase the AnteAGE regenerative anti-ageing products and launch the new topical product AnteAGE Eye in the UK.
AnteAGE scientists pioneered the use of cytosignal cell technology by using human bone marrow stem cell cytokines, which are superior to other cell types available for rejuvenation and regeneration.
Vanessa Bird, The Aesthetic Consultant, curated the evening’s entertainment.
Among the guests were Dr Wassim Taktouk, Dr Mariam Zamani and Dr Tapan Patel.
Guests enjoyed champagne and canapés and had the opportunity to meet Cellese President Ian Sanderson who flew in from America for the launch.
All attendees left with a goodie bag of the latest AnteAGE products and some best sellers to use in clinic such as the Growth Factor Solution, which is used to great effect with microneedling and laser treatments.
GetHarley partners with AlumierMD
Digital platform GetHarley has partnered with cosmeceutical skincare brand AlumierMD. Any medical practitioner using the GetHarley service can now add AlumierMD products to their digital shelves, following training with the brand. GetHarley practitioners can then prescribe AlumierMD skincare via the platform. AlumierMD regional manager Nadia Oakes said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with a business that’s leveraging innovation to bring clean, effective skincare to even more people while protecting and supporting the professional community.”
Galderma expands UK team
Galderma has created five new positions to provide strategic support and servicing across the country as a result of increased demand for the growing Restylane dermal filler portfolio and expanding toxin pipeline. Lucy Dean will focus on Manchester and Liverpool. Jayne John will cover Wales and the South West, Kirsty Pesticcio will be covering the South coast region, Karen Houlihan will be based across Central London and Hannah Miller will cover Birmingham and the West Midlands.
HINNAO seeks international distribution
Liquid drop supplements brand HINNAO is rapidly expanding. The company, which creates clinically proven bioavailability, high-stability liposomal glutathione drops, is now looking for distributors and agents worldwide and has invited interested professionals to contact the company via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appeal launched to support doctors in Sri Lanka
Dr Mayoni Gooneratne, owner of Londonbased The Skin Clinic by Dr Mayoni, has launched a fundraising appeal to support her home country of Sri Lanka, which is in financial and political trouble post-Covid.
The initiative was launched following a call for help from a medical colleague in Sri Lanka who had run out of ventilation equipment for newborn and premature babies. “No doctor should have to knowingly compromise their patients’ care, and no patient should ever have to worry that the most basic medical equipment is not available,” she said. To donate to the appeal, visit justgiving.com and search “Mayoni Byrne”.