Fears Britons are being lured abroad for surgery by ‘unscrupulous’ ads


A clampdown has been launched on “unscrupulous” adverts which promote potentially dangerous cosmetic surgery abroad.

Working with the Department of Health and the Foreign Office, the Advertising Standards Authority is targeting a “growing number” of foreign operators using social media to entice Britons into undergoing these often life-threatening procedures .

These include eye colour-changing surgery, “butt lifts” – enlarged buttocks – breast enlargement and teeth veneers.

The ASA says hundreds of operators are breaking advertising rules and using exploitative techniques to “lure” people abroad.

New mothers are also being tempted to undergo surgical “mummy makeovers”, and companies also offer pressurised “limited time only” price deals, and claim procedures are “100 per cent safe” when they are not.

The advertising watchdog believes many of the operators are also fronting cowboy practices that can leave patients with serious problems, including blindness, lost teeth and even death.

Its new drive warns Britons to be cautious about signing up for potentially risky treatments overseas.

A spokesperson said the crackdown has been timed for the summer when people “want to look good” for the beach or a holiday.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of operators who are not complying to our rules and growing numbers of people going abroad for surgery,” he said.

“Many ads are luring unwitting customers to potentially unsafe practices by exploiting people’s insecurities while not being open about risks.

“Cosmetic surgery is never risk free and is a serious decision.

“People are entitled to do it but there are horror stories that happen when people go to substandard clinics.”

He added: “We know of a patient who bled to death from a Brazilian butt lift and other cases of lost teeth or patients needing extensive dental work or more realignment surgery after treatment.

“We also know there are adverts promoting eye colour-changing surgery for cosmetic reasons – this can only be done in the UK for medical reasons and carries a risk of blindness.

“Consumers need to know what they are getting into and we are working with other government agencies to clamp down.”

One of the most alarming recent TikTok trends is for people to change the colour of their eyes.

Known as keratopigmentation, it has been promoted by influencers posting videos of themselves undergoing surgery – often going from brown to blue or green.

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