While the largely unregulated UK aesthetic surgery industry remains a cause for concern among responsible professionals, a major conference this month aimed to inject “some common sense where it is in short supply”.

 

The global conference of the not-for-profit Complications in Medical Aesthetics Collaborative (CMAC), which was established in 2020 to maximise safety in clinical practice, met to promote “sensible measures to help keep people safe”.

 

CMAC, which now has in excess of 1,000 members, expressed concern about increasing numbers of people who were over-treated, over-filled and over-botoxed, with a detrimental impact not only on physical but also mental health.

 

International experts and global representatives spoke about the over-riding imperative for facial safety and for the need for the sector to be underpinned by a simple philosophy of “doing the right thing”.

 

Dr Cormac Convery, Co-founder and Medical Director of the Glasgow-based Ever Clinic, who is also a founding member and now vice-Chair of CMAC, said: “The conference aimed to act as a rudder in a sector buffeted by waves of unprofessionalism.

 

“In an industry where financial gain is often prioritised above patient care, this gathering set out to lead by example and get others, who are perhaps more reflective about what they do, on board with us.

 

“That unqualified people – some working from their homes or back street offices, with no training – should be allowed to operate in such a delicate and sensitive area is an ongoing disgrace.”

 

Dr Convery said the conference – CMAC’s second – was very well received by representatives from countries such as Canada, South Africa, Scandinavia and Spain, who said that it was likely to inspire other practitioners to “lift their game”.

 

He pointed out that, unlike other conferences which were sponsored by businesses which dictated what delegates could say, CMAC was evidence-based and speakers were free to discuss topics of their choice.

 

He said: “Responsible medical professionals in the field are willing not only to educate

and support practitioners in the sensitive area of complication avoidance and management but to provide real-time expertise, advice and guidance to colleagues.

 

“There is a danger that patients who do not really know what they want are encouraged to take the lead, rather than being guided by medically-qualified and artistically-trained professionals who are able to advise on the best and most desirable outcomes.”

 

The conference also discussed the trend away from the more extreme use of fillers, such as over-filled lips and unnatural jaw lines, towards a demand for a more natural look that is in proportion while remaining well-defined.

 

It noted a significant increase in the use of dissolvers, which involve injections into areas where filler have been previously used – a procedure which should only be carried out by medical practitioners.

 

Dr Convery said that he now dissolves more fillers than he puts in, but counselled that there are negatives aspects to the procedure, including cost and managing people’s expectations about outcomes.

 

He said: “The likelihood of a complication arising is steadily reduced when professionals are all pulling in the same direction of patient safety, and the guidelines CMAC has produced provide a template for continually improved treatment outcomes.”

ENDS

Date of release: October 2023

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