The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) has responded to a report published today in the medical journal of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that says female genital cosmetic surgery is becoming more widespread. The report concludes that the rise in this surgery is driven by women’s shame and commercial interests.
Tim Goodacre, Head of Professional Standards at BAPRAS and a leading consultant plastic surgeon, said:
“Most female genital cosmetic surgery is carried out in the private sector, which doesn’t have a mandatory reporting system so it is very difficult to track the number of instances of this surgery. However, there is strong anecdotal evidence that this surgery is on the increase. This is concerning as this surgery does not come without its risks – some women have reported adverse effects, such as severe discomfort and ongoing problems with daily function, following the surgery. It should therefore only be performed when necessary and only ever by a qualified surgeon.
“Female genital cosmetic surgery is often trivialised and there is a certain amount of subtle coercion in the media to suggest this surgery may be desirable for women. We can’t deny that there is an element within the wider cosmetic surgery industry that may be seeking to benefit from women’s apprehensions in this area. BAPRAS speaks on behalf of surgeons who will be taking the proper and professional approach – as part of our role to drive professional standards, we would like to see tougher central regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry to help clamp down on anyone performing these operations unnecessarily, and without due consideration for patient care. BAPRAS also calls on the media to ensure issues around body confidence are responsibly reported and that there is greater recognition for the wide variety that naturally exists in body type.”
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