The health ministry will prohibit medical institutions from using before-and-after photos of patients in cosmetic-surgery advertisements, sources said Wednesday.
The plan follows a series of consumer problems stemming from advertising for aesthetic medical services, including minor cosmetic surgery and liposuction.
Before-and-after images will be allowed for academic meetings will because such use does not encourage potential patients to elect such procedures, according to the sources.
The ministry will put the ban into effect by June.
The country’s medical law bans false and misleading advertising, but it is difficult to determine whether photos taken before and after cosmetic procedures have been manipulated.
The plan for the ban came after the ministry’s expert panel discussed issues involving before-and-after images at the request of the Cabinet Office’s Consumer Commission, which called for reviews of ad regulations.
At a meeting on Wednesday, a majority of panel members took the position that the use of such photos in advertising should be widely regulated.