Outrage over Magazines 'crass' offer of Free Surgery

Posted on the 11 October 2011 at 10:11

The October issue of Love It! Magazine has come under criticism from members of the aesthetic industry for their competition offering free surgery to its readers.

The competition, entitled “Who Deserves Cosmetic Surgery the Most”, allows its readers to vote for the winner.  

The publication, which is predominantly aimed at young women, last week offered a “free boob job” for one “lucky reader” – the catch being that in exchange for the free breast surgery they must give consent to be filmed throughout the process.  

This was the first in a series of free surgery giveaways with this week’s prize being a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and next week a nose job (Rhinoplasty).

Industry commentators BAAPS (British Association of Associate Plastic Surgeons) have spoke out against the magazine and its behaviour.  BAAPS president and consultant plastic surgeon Fazel Fatah says:


“I find it staggering that any reputable UK surgeon could contemplate or partake in such a crass marketing gimmick aimed at young women – not only does the offer of a surgical procedure as a prize, under any guise, violate both ethics and good taste but readers are also under pressure to ‘text in’ within a certain time period to be eligible. This clearly goes against well established codes of medical practice where time-linked initiatives are prohibited. More worryingly, readers of the magazine are the ones who finally select which candidate they deem to be the most ‘worthy’ of surgery! Surgery cannot be treated as entertainment, such a process severely compromises the normal doctor-patient relationship regardless of what safeguards may be ostensibly in place. This is an initiative that the BAAPS unreservedly condemns.”

The growing concern amongst aesthetic industry associations is the trivialisation of serious medical procedures such as tummy tucks, breast surgery and Rhinoplasty, in the media and amongst marketing groups.  

Groupon and similar social coupon sites have come under fire for their discounted surgery offers.  The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) have a warning on their website declaring that ‘members engaging in such activities will be the subject of investigation.’

 The BAAPS announcement coincides with yet another online discount offer for 50% of a breast augmentation at a London clinic – being sold alongside burgers and cocktails.  BAAPS President Fazel Fatah released a statement on the subject proclaiming;

“We simply do not expect responsible plastic surgeons to market themselves in this manner.”

He adds;

“Viewing today’s cut-price online deals, we are reiterating our message of safety to the public: to purchase a surgical procedure sold alongside discount coupons for cocktails, with a pressure-mounting countdown clock, is simply not the sensible way to go about making a serious decision such as having surgery. Unlike a hangover, the impact will be felt for a lifetime.”

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