BAPRAS announces UK-wide audit to determine impact of cosmetic tourism on the NHS

Press release- 19 November 2008

Hamish Laing, Honorary Secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) which represents 90% of all NHS plastic surgeons in the UK, today announced that the Association will conduct a UK-wide audit to determine how widespread the problem of treating botched cosmetic procedures overseas is for the NHS.

The audit will be carried out in the New Year by BAPRAS’ clinical effectiveness and audit committee after a pan-Thames regional audit revealed the rise in complications requiring inpatient treatment following aesthetic surgery abroad.   

Commenting on the audit, Hamish Laing said:  “Research by BAPRAS members in the Thames region has highlighted the deficiency in standards of post-operative care and follow up associated with cosmetic tourism.  It is clear from this study that the complications of cosmetic tourism do occur and have an impact on NHS resources once the patients have returned home.

“Patients are increasingly travelling to other countries lured by the promise of reduced cost, increased ease of accessibility and reduced waiting times but this places pressure on already overstretched plastic surgery, accident and emergency and general surgical units in the NHS.

“BAPRAS therefore has committed to expand the research to include all plastic surgical units in the UK and Ireland, to determine further the extent of this problem and its effect on the NHS and its limited resources.

“With cosmetic surgical procedures set to rise in the UK there is likely to be a similar growth in the cosmetic tourism industry and the complications that return to be treated in NHS units.”


About cosmetic surgery
Cosmetic surgery means operations that revise or change appearance, colour, texture, structural position of body features to achieve what patients perceive to be more desirable. 


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 Anyone can check the GMC to find out if a surgeon is on the plastic surgery specialist register.