Once upon a time, cosmetic surgery was only for the wealthy.
Today, it’s advertised and marketed as a perfectly normal experience for anyone who can afford it. Cosmetic surgeons have become social media stars with followers in the millions.
But behind the glitz and glamour lie some ugly truths.
“I would describe the cosmetic treatments industry as like the wild west, but without the sheriffs.” Health regulation consultant
“It’s ruined a huge part of my life.” Patient
On Monday, Four Corners, in a joint investigation with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, exposes alarming practices in this multi-billion-dollar industry and reveals how the regulatory system is failing to protect Australians.
“How can an individual …treat another human being like that?” Surgeon
Cosmetic surgery is marketed as easy and safe, but as this investigation shows, the consequences can be devastating.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s staggering.” Surgeon
In this extraordinary and shocking report from Gold Walkley award winner Adele Ferguson, she investigates how this industry has been able to flourish.
“It’s basically lawless. It’s like any other consumer market – it’s buyer beware, except that people’s lives can be put at risk.” Health regulation consultant
Without effective regulation former patients fear Australians will continue to be in harm’s way.
“Here I am still worrying that it could happen to somebody else…again.” Patient
Four Corners – Cosmetic Cowboys, reported by Adele Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 25th October at 8.30pm.
It is replayed on Tuesday 26th October at 1.00pm and Wednesday 27th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.