New Regulations in Force as ‘Cosmetic Cowboys’ Fall-Out Continues

A new suite of regulations has been introduced on cosmetic surgery. The $1.4 billion industry has previously been likened to the wild west due to the absence of medical regulation.

It will surprise many that a review published last year found “no universal minimum standards for education and training in relation to cosmetic surgery.” 

Changes have been strongly advocated by the Australian Association of Plastic Surgery, that is, by medically trained surgeons specialised in plastic surgery. As the association’s head, Nicola Dean, told media, “Cosmetic surgery is real surgery and should only be done by surgeons.”

The changes mean cosmetic “surgeons” can only call themselves as such if they are medically qualified.

New regulations will also prevent clinics from posting deceptive social media promotions. It has been commonplace for photoshopped images to be used in before and after pictures and testimonials from clients.

There will also be standard measures for preventing infection and informed consent. Patients will be assessed for the suitability for surgery based on “psychological” and “physical” assessment.

Some on social media responded by calling the decision “transphobic” and “another way that women/people are having decisions made for them about their bodies.”

Yet regulation had become inevitable after industry scandal centered on the figure of Daniel Lanzer, who ran cosmetic surgeries in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. One of Lanzer’s business accounts had 13 million online followers.

Daniel Lanzer gave a legal undertaking to cease practising in the wake of a 2021 Nine Newspapers and Four Corners report. Their investigation documents a slew of health and safety breaches and featured interviews with shocked (actual) surgeons. 

A class action is now underway in the Victorian Supreme Count. Former patients report inadequate pain relief, infection and lasting deformities from these unregulated cosmetic procedures.

Sign Up To Our Free Newsletter