Due to the lack of a specific controlling agency, the cosmetic surgery business has come under the scanner. With the presence of both established healthcare companies and other mom-and-pop surgical beauty shops, the industry is divided over quality issues. Atul Shah, Secretary, Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, says, “A substantial number of doctors that advertise in local newspapers and other media editions are not qualified, leading to disastrous results.” A fair amount of doctors are also buying cheap, non-certified laser-surgery equipment in order to reduce capital costs, says Dilip Meswani, Director, Coherent Medical Systems, a company that sells laser equipment for cosmetic procedures. The reason, Meswani explains, is the lack of regulatory authority to control or certify the products, just like there is no regulatory control over who should perform a cosmetic surgery.
These mom-and-pop beauty surgery shops are feeding off a new wave of demand in a society where stress, exposure to media and movies are causing mental disorders like depression. Many are turning to cosmetic surgery to get better jobs, better marriage prospects, or just pump up their self esteem.
“Although there are many small-time cosmetic surgery clinics operational, they should not be judged on the basis of size. It all depends on the doctor; if the medical staff is competent, then it is all fine. Basically, space should not be the judging criteria. Instead, it should be the quality of equipment and doctors,” says Dr Charulata Bose, senior consultant dermatologist, Kaya Skin Clinic.
Given the current scenario, industry professionals are strongly propagating the need for an audit and control channel, which would make the surgical beauty industry grow at a safe and profitable rate.