According to Dr. Daniel Lanzer announced a major overhaul of the cosmetic surgery industry

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The medical regulator has announced a major patient safety review in the field of cosmetic surgery following a joint investigation by Four Corners and Nine newspapers.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Medical Board of Australia will examine how regulations can be strengthened to better protect patients.

You will also examine the role of advertising and social media.

It comes a month after a joint investigation by Four Corners, the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age into clinics led by Dr. Daniel Lanzer.

The investigation uncovered serious hygiene and safety violations and procedures by Dr. Lancers who resulted in patients in extreme pain, required further medical treatment, and persistent physical and psychological problems.

Daniel Lanzer and Daniel Aronov on Dr. Lancers.(Source: The Cosmetic Surgery Show / Seven Network)

Dr. Lanzer has since made a final commitment to cease the practice of medicine in Australia while the AHPRA concludes an investigation.

His colleague Dr. Daniel Aronov was banned from performing cosmetic surgery earlier this week.

The AHPRA review, led by outgoing Queensland Health Ombudsman Andrew Brown, will examine cosmetic surgery advertising, current codes of conduct and protocols for handling complaints.

AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said the review was triggered by the joint investigation.

He said the cosmetics industry has “properties of concern” that make it riskier than other areas of medicine.

“These include corporate business models that purportedly put profit over patient safety, procedures that are performed without medical necessity, limited factual information for consumers, and the exponential growth of social media that often emphasizes benefits and downplays risks.

“The cosmetic practice has quickly grown into a multi-million dollar entrepreneurial industry, with practices and marketing practices that pose ethical dilemmas.”

The public consultation on the review will start in early 2022 and report back by mid-year.

A man in a surgical gown, mask and hat with an embroidered name looks straight into the camera.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Daniel Aronov.(TikTok: @ dr.danielaronov)

Kathy Hubble, a former patient of Dr. Lanzer said the review was “absolutely necessary”.

Ms. Hubble ended up at Dr. Lanzer in Sydney with the severe bacterial cellulite infection in the hospital.

Three years after her procedure, Ms. Hubble says she still has chronic pain, and last month she shared her story with Four Corners.

A woman is standing facing a beach, her hand resting on a railing, sunglasses on her head.
Kathy Hubble says that after her procedure at one of Daniel Lanzer’s cosmetic surgery clinics, she has “never had such agony in my life.”(Four corners: Ryan Sheridan)

She said she was glad AHPRA checked the sector.

“High Five Four Corners. I’m very excited to hear this and it makes me feel that it was beneficial to tell my story, ”she said.

Review panel member Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOICE, said he was “appalled” by some of the personal stories that have been released over the past few weeks.

That is why he decided to join the panel of experts.

“We all have the right to assume that the system will protect us from harm, protect us from being misled about the nature of certain procedures or the risks involved, and protect us from unsafe practices,” he said.

“I am very interested in understanding how good the system is now and where there is room for improvement during this process.”

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Check out Four Corners’ investigation into the unregulated world of cosmetic surgery.

He said social media has changed the landscape of cosmetic surgery.

“The cosmetic surgery industry has changed tremendously since the current legal framework was introduced, with procedures now being advertised on Instagram and TikTok and available in malls across the country.

“I want to investigate whether consumers are adequately educated about the risks of some procedures and whether regulators have the necessary powers to prevent harm.”

A sign outside a shop front that says "Dr.  Dermatology clinics in Lanz".
Dr. Daniel Lanzer has day clinics in Melbourne and Brisbane and facilities in Sydney and Perth.(Four corners)

The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons criticized the AHPRA rating as “too little, too late”.

President Dr. Robert Sheen said what really needed was a crackdown on the use of the term “cosmetic surgeon”.

“Registered plastic surgery specialists face the task every day of correcting botched work by doctors posing as registered specialist surgeons,” he said.

Currently, anyone with an undergraduate degree in medicine can call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon”, but state health ministers are currently discussing possible changes to national laws to protect the title of “surgeon”.

The AHPRA welcomed the consultation process.

Former Lanzer patients are taking legal action

AHPRA has limited powers. It can warn a practitioner, ensure that a practitioner can practice with restrictions, or refer a complaint to another agency. However, it is not authorized to ask a practitioner for compensation, reimbursement, or apology.

However, a law firm is preparing to act on behalf of several former patients of Dr. Lanzer to take legal action.

A red sports car was parked in front of a building with the sign
Dr. Lanzer in Melbourne was featured in the opening titles of his TV show.(Source: The Cosmetic Surgery Show / Seven Network)

Daniel Opare of Shine Lawyers said his law firm was investigating several complaints in the course of the ABC / Nine investigation.

“I don’t think there is enough awareness of people’s legal rights related to cosmetic surgery, but hopefully there will be more the more people get in touch,” he said.

He said patients were often reluctant to consider their legal rights because they felt ashamed of undergoing cosmetic procedures or signed waivers.

“Cosmetic surgery is a choice, but it doesn’t negate the surgeon’s obligation to provide adequate care,” he said.

“A lot of people think, ‘I chose to do this, I signed a waiver and there are risks’ … people need to know that just because they signed a waiver, it definitely doesn’t relieve the surgeon.”

You can view the full investigation on ABC iview.

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