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Channel Nine's plastic surgery reality TV show slammed for breaching guidelines.

Mamamia logo Mamamia 20/05/2017 Jessica Chambers

Channel Nine’s plastic surgery reality show Operation Thailand has come under fire for allegedly breaching Australian health guidelines. © Facebook/@operationthailand Channel Nine’s plastic surgery reality show Operation Thailand has come under fire for allegedly breaching Australian health guidelines. Channel Nine’s plastic surgery reality show Operation Thailand has come under fire for allegedly breaching Australian health guidelines.

The Australian College of Dermatologists claims the show – which follows Australians as they travel to Thailand for cosmetic surgery – is unethical and does not meet Australian health and advertising guidelines.

Mamamia reached out to Channel Nine for comment but did not receive a response.

ACD's Dr Michael Rich said although the show's surgeries are performed in Thailand, both the consultations take place in Australia and the company behind the operation is based here, meaning Channel Nine is required to uphold Australian guidelines.

So what guidelines is the show allegedly breaching?

Well, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency guidelines state the surgeon must meet the patient before performing surgery and give warnings of risks to the patient at least seven days before surgery.

"On the show, an agent booked the surgery. The patient didn’t even meet the surgeon before surgery so there was no opportunity for the patient to seek a second opinion or contemplate the opinion of the surgeon," Dr Rich said.

"In one case the patient had to make a major decision about which surgery to have on the spot."

Guidelines also state there should be no use of testimonials about doctors or the services they provide. There should also be no offers of a gift, discount or another inducement to attract a user of the health service.

Specific warnings should also be given in regards invasive surgery - which do not appear on the show.

"Operation Thailand is riddled with verbal testimonials from patients post-surgery and the before and after photographs shown are also misleading and not exact," Dr Rich said.

"The show also actively promotes the services provided by the company facilitating the surgery- and offers gifts to patients for using their service."

Listen: "I had to really consider her feelings and what made her feel good."

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons weighed in, wishing to draw consumers' attention to the potential safety risks of cosmetic tourism packages.

"Our members regularly deal with rectifying complication arising from cosmetic procedures that have been performed at overseas facilities," ASPS president Dr James Savundra said.

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Dr Savundra urged those wanting to head overseas for cosmetic surgery to do their homework ahead of their trip, adding that combining cosmetic surgery with a holiday isn't the best option because "sun and surgery do not mix".

"Cosmetic surgery is a real surgery with associated risks and should be taken very seriously. There need to be appropriate consultations and cooling off periods after the consultation with the patient."

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