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From: TSS ()
Subject: Re: Four weeks ago, Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief MO, warned that collagen fillers are capable of transmitting blood-borne diseases, including vCJD
Date: March 7, 2005 at 7:56 pm PST

In Reply to: Four weeks ago, Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief MO, warned that collagen fillers are capable of transmitting blood-borne diseases, including vCJD posted by TSS on March 7, 2005 at 7:47 pm:

January 29, 2005

Lip implant tissue link with mad cow disease
By Sam Lister
One in six cosmetic surgery firms may be closed as fears for patients’ health prompt a clampdown
FEARS that cosmetic implants used in lips and cheeks could trigger vCJD, the human form of “mad cow” disease, have prompted the Government to launch an investigation.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, said that experts were examining the possibility that tissue implants such as collagen could transmit blood-borne diseases such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease if contaminated. Although no evidence of such transmission has been discovered, the committee on microbiological safety of blood and tissues believes there might be a risk.

Society’s obsession with high cheekbones and luscious lips have prompted thousands of Britons to resort to implants to enhance their features.

Mockingly termed the “trout pout”, a collagen lip injection is one of the most common treatments, which costs as little as £300. Rumoured recipients of collagen, a fibrous protein which bonds tissue in the body, include celebrities such as Liz Hurley, Kylie Minogue and Leslie Ash.

The expert group’s study of a range of aesthetic fillers, which are often made from human or bovine tissue, had already found samples containing material from dead bodies and birds, Sir Liam added.

The investigation is part of an overhaul of the cosmetic treatments industry, designed to root out the growing number of “cowboys” offering unregulated procedures such as Botox injections, implants and chemical skin peels. Under new rules, rogue clinics will be shut and practitioners prosecuted in an attempt to improve patient safety. As many as a sixth of providers could be forced to close.

The move follows a surge in demand for cosmetic procedures, some of which are avail-able at not only clinics but also at hairdressing and beauty salons and even as gifts administered at people’s homes. Sir Liam said some providers were illegally advertising Botox, which is a prescription drug.

From next April, legal action will be taken against any providers who are not registered with the Healthcare Commission, the health watchdog, and fail to comply with its regulations. Of the 20,000 providers in England, identified through medical lists, advertisements, phone directories and the internet, just 100 are registered and subject to the commission’s annual inspection. It believes at least 15 per cent would not meet necessary standards.

The Government’s hard line is in response to reports published yesterday by the commission and the experts’ group headed by Harry Cayton, the national director for Patients and the Public. Both reports call for tighter controls of a rapidly expanding industry.

Mr Cayton said the group had found a “diverse range” of sources of implant tissue. Many fillers did not fall under any type of regulation because they used human tissue products.

The Government said it would follow all the recommendations, revealed by The Times this week, including: mandatory specialist training for doctors and nurses, who must be registered with a professional body; clearer definitions of the procedures and what they involve; and a clampdown on cut-price deals. The commission is to carry out more spot checks on clinics.

“Cosmetic procedures are a rapidly growing area of private healthcare,” Sir Liam said. “Some (people) are disappointed with the outcome but a minority can suffer serious harm or disfigurement.We must ensure we properly protect patients’ safety by improving the training, regulation and information provided.”

Simon Gillespie, head of operations at the commission, said that it had found there was good compliance with current regulations among cosmetic surgery providers, especially among larger operators. “But we did find and have concerns about the number of organisations that did not fall under the scope or regulations(where) there could be some increases in risk to patients, and patients did not realise that they were receiving a medical procedure.”


The number of cosmetic procedures rose by more than 50 per cent last year, with women having 92 per cent of the 16,367 operations

Breast enlargement, 3,731
Breast reduction, 2,417
Eyelid surgery, 1,993
Face/neck lift, 1,511
Tummy tuck, 1,465

Nose reshaping, 362
Ear pinning, 295
Eyelid surgery, 280
Liposuction, 130
Face/neck lift, 93

Operations conducted by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons,,2-1461514,00.html,,2-1461514_2,00.html


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