Nova Scotia

Cosmetic surgery education campaign launched

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has launched an education campaign for anyone wanting cosmetic surgery or surgical implants.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has launched an education campaign for anyone wanting cosmetic surgery or surgical implants.

The advertisements, running in local newspapers, encourages people to ask the right questions before getting a cosmetic procedure done. The college also provides a list of questions patients can take to a doctor or a non-medical cosmetics salon.

"On the one hand it's medicine, on another hand it's something a little different," said Dr. Gus Grant, the registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.

"We don't want that sense of it being different from your typical doctor's visit to prevent patients from getting what they're entitled to, which is an informed opinion about the nature of the decision."

The education campaign was prompted by a high-profile case in Ontario, where a 32-year-old woman died after a liposuction procedure went wrong.

Dr. Richard Bendor-Samuel, a plastic surgeon in Halifax, said a public awareness campaign is needed with more general practitioners making home visits for Botox parties and dental surgeons doing face lifts.

"I've seen burns from facial procedures that were done that you wouldn't really expect a burn for pigmentation," he told CBC News on Friday.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has no jurisdiction over spas and salons where the staff are not doctors. It's an issue the college says it's starting to think about.

"A number of these new cosmetic procedures are invasive procedures that carry risks with them that are inherently, by feel, medical in nature," said Grant.

Bendor-Samuel said in the end, the provincial government must decide what work should be done by doctors.

"Physicians can't regulate the dentists or the aestheticians or just the general people who are opening up private practices, private clinics that have nothing to do with medicine but are doing semi-medical procedures," he said.

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