Just when you think you’ve seen everything, the auction site EBay comes along and surprises you once again. For the morbid and the curious, the site has recently seen breast implants being available for bidding upon with two Silicone implants (circa 1970), being advertised with opening bids of around $25.00
Admittedly, these items had been advertised as ´not for real use´ and most auction sites, including EBay have strict rules and regulations against Prosthetic enhancements and devices coming up for auction. It was still a surprise to see these and other implants appearing on-line and was enough for members to raise a non-enhanced eyebrow at what was going on.
Medical professionals certainly do hope that this is not the thin end of the surgical wedge here and the start of an uncomfortable trend in using auction sites to advertise possible Prosthetic replacements under the guise of ´display only´ or ´not for medical use.´
In this budget conscious society with everyone trying to make a fast buck, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine unscrupulous individuals using the auction service to repurpose previously removed surgical items with a view to giving them what we can only call without fear of litigation, ´a new lease of life.’
It is of great importance for the aesthetic and surgical industry to reach out with more complete information via the extensive media outlets available these days and ensure that potential clients and interested parties realise the risks involved in what could be called ‘second hand surgery’. We are fortunate that in the western world, we have very high standards of surgical procedures and aftercare – but sadly, the third world frequently adopts compromised techniques leading to higher rates of infection in even the most simple surgical procedures.
It´s up to surgical professionals to keep standards high in every procedure they undertake; not just for the patient’s peace of mind but to ensure that they continually monitor their own performance and maintain the confidence of the public in this profession.
Professional experience must always take precedence with an ethic that keeps the doubted value of auction sites firmly where they belong – in the domain of used motor vehicles and CD’s, so as not to devalue flesh and blood into mere transactions.