A doctor at the centre of a breast surgery scandal has had his licence revoked following media reports about bizarre conduct during operations.
A Daily Telegraph investigation revealed that Dr Leslie Blackstock routinely woke up patients during their breast augmentation surgeries to check whether they were happy with the size of the implants.
According to the paper, Dr Blackstock – who was employed by Enhance Clinic – would ask women to answer arithmetic questions to gauge whether they were cognizant enough to provide approval.
However, the Medical Council of NSW confirmed last week that the medical practitioner's licence is now suspended as a result of the allegations.
"Given public interest in this matter and the potential for patients at the Enhance Clinic to require follow-up care, the NSW Medical Council urges any affected patients to consult their general practitioner as soon as possible," the council stated.
Plastic surgery under the spotlight
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has criticised the state's cosmetic surgery regulations, despite new laws coming into force in March that tightened licensing requirements.
However, he argued that the term 'cosmetic surgeon' isn't protected, which means medical practitioners can legally call themselves one without possessing high-level skills or accreditation.
Enhance Clinic was reportedly ordered to stop providing breast augmentations in an unlicensed facility, but it ignored the demand.
"GPs that do purport to have some of these areas of expertise, that's what I want to look at with the federal government and with the other state and territory ministers, because I think some of them are definitely putting other peoples' lives at risk," Mr Hazzard told A Current Affair.
Have scandals affected plastic surgery demand?
The popularity of plastic surgery is on the decline in Australia.
Whatclinic figures, based on website traffic, revealed appetite for treatments dropped 11 per cent in 2016. Furthermore, seven of the top 10 most sought-after surgeries experienced a fall in demand.
Breast enhancements are the most common procedure, yet the number of inquiries received last year plummeted by 33 per cent. Similarly, liposuction ranks second, but the procedure was 15 per cent less popular last year.
"Our advice to anyone considering plastic surgery is to check the credentials of the practitioner. All surgery, no matter how small, carries risk," said Philip Boyle, head of consumer matters at Whatclinic.
Anyone who believes they have suffered plastic surgery gone wrong may be eligible for medical negligence compensation. To discuss your case, please contact a member of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.