Plastic surgery might be a touchy subject as it deals with changing the general outlook of a person. In fact, it can be quite a taboo for some people and communities while in other more modern societies; plastic surgery seems like a norm.

Plastic surgery is not always about changing your outlook to look younger or prettier. However, reconstructive plastic surgery is sometimes necessary especially when someone needs corrective surgery due to accidents or mishaps.

According to the Malaysian Medical Council, the billion dollar industry is growing by 15% annually. In fact, plastic surgery is a growing industry where more and more Malaysians are finding ways to stop the aging effects as well as to change their image in one way or another. Malaysians are becoming more conscious of the importance of their physical appearance.

The advantages of non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures which can make a difference with little or no downtime, has prompted many to take their first step toward looking better. Despite all those scare stories about botched boob jobs and liposuction gone wrong, cosmetic surgery is still a booming industry in Malaysia.

With the advent of Malaysia’s status as a hub for medical tourism in the region, aesthetic clinics in Malaysia are receiving an increasing number of patients from outside the country. There is confusion often amongst consumers as to the nature of different types of aesthetic centers.

Many centers claim that they are aesthetic clinics when in fact there are no practicing licensed professional on the staff roster. Consequently, it has affected the industry with factors like unskilled work as well as potentially harmful practices.

Often in different centers, there are alternative technologies which are offered to the consumer. Sometimes these alternative technologies are unproven and unlicensed. These technologies can also cause harm to consumers, especially if the proper research is not done beforehand.

Current Issue related cosmetic treatments in Malaysia

There are no direct laws to prevent an unqualified person to perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical procedures or to make them face criminal charges even if the patient dies or is disfigured as a result of a botched job.

Other than that, The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) wants the federal government to legislate tough laws to allow criminal charges with severe punishments, including jail sentences, on unqualified cosmetic surgeons; especially those who caused death or disfigurement on clients.

The potential for huge profits, however, has spurred the growth of back-street practitioners with little experience or expertise in handling the surgeon’s scalpel or even other non-surgical cosmetic equipment. This has lured not only “quack doctors” but also general practitioners who are untrained in the field to want to make a quick buck.

Presently the Health Ministry has powers only to act under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998 and also the Medical Act 1971 if doctors untrained in cosmetic surgery are found to be involved. These antiquated laws are deemed to be insufficient to protect consumers from being duped by these unqualified so-called “cosmetic surgeons”.

Given the situation, more and more people, especially young women, are falling prey to unscrupulous beauty centres which feed on their insecurities and desires.

In 2007, the Health Ministry drew up a guideline on the dos and don’ts of cosmetic surgery. Under the guidelines, non-medical specialists, including private general practitioners, are not allowed to carry out procedures such as breast implants, liposuction, eyelid surgery, laser and light-based therapies and hair transplant.

How Popular Are Cosmetic Treatments In Malaysia
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