BAPRAS reiterates call for national guidelines on reconstructive surgery following bariatric weight loss procedures
Today (Tuesday 19 February 2013) The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) repeats its call for national guidelines to be drawn up on reconstructive ‘body contouring’ surgery following bariatric weight loss procedures.
With a growing obesity epidemic in the UK, the number of patients undergoing bariatric surgery is increasing rapidly; under NICE criteria approximately 1.5 million British adults are currently eligible for these procedures.
On average, gastric band patients will lose 50-60 per cent of their excess weight and gastric bypass patients will lose 70 per cent. In turn many of these patients experience massive weight loss and develop medical problems caused by excess skin. These problems can be dealt with by body contouring surgery. However, there are currently no guidelines on the provision for this type of surgery and NHS funding is very limited.
A survey commissioned by BAPRAS shows that of 1,000 GPs questioned 45 percent support NHS funding for body contouring surgery .
Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAPRAS member Mark Soldin said:
“We know that excess skin following massive weight loss can lead to significant on-going problems including soreness, recurrent infections, functional problems, depression, difficulty with sexual function and poor body image. Initial findings from our research shows that there are significant physical and emotional benefits to patients who undergo body contouring surgery to remove this skin, and that these patients go on to lead a far more physically active and healthy lifestyle. With the growing incidence of bariatric surgery in the UK it is essential that the aftercare for patients be given greater thought.”
Graeme Perks, President of BAPRAS and Consultant Plastic Surgeon said:
“There is on-going discussion about whether the costs for post-bariatric reconstructive surgery should be available on the NHS and access to these procedures varies across the country. Cost-benefit evidence about bariatric surgery is now available but the patient’s long term quality of life has not been fully considered. BAPRAS is calling for national guidelines on body contouring surgery to be developed and has been working with key stakeholders to produce a comprehensive set of patient criteria to be published this year.”
The Association first called for national body contouring guidelines to be produced at the 2011 BAPRAS Winter Scientific Meeting.
Notes to editors
1. Research conducted on behalf of BAPRAS by MedeConnect with 1,000 GPs in November 2011
BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.
Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has over 800 members and is the professional representative body for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK. Members of the public can find a member plastic surgeon in their area by logging on to www.bapras.org.uk. Anyone can check the GMC to find out if a surgeon is on the plastic surgery specialist register; http://www.gmc-uk.org/register/search/index.asp