Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lip implant tissue link with mad cow disease

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.

Ahhhhh the Price of Vanity. Read the rest!

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