BAPRAS pushes for national guidelines on reconstructive surgery following bariatric weight loss procedures

Media Release- 2 December 2011

GP survey shows close to half support NHS funding for body contouring

On the final day of its Winter Meeting, when over 400 Plastic Surgeons gathered to discuss the latest innovations in reconstructive surgery, the British Association for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) is calling 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 percent of their excess weight and gastric bypass patients will lose 70 percent. 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 recent survey commissioned by BAPRAS shows that of 1,000 GPs questioned 45 percent support NHS funding for body contouring surgery1. A pilot study being presented at the BAPRAS Winter Meeting by Mark Soldin, BAPRAS Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Kingston and St Georges University Teaching Hospitals, also reveals significant improvements in patients’ physical and emotional well-being once they have undergone body contouring surgery following massive weight loss. 

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.” 
Speaking on behalf of BAPRAS, Professor Simon Kay, 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. To kick start the process, we are inviting interested parties to join us to develop the key points for consideration.” 

Mark Soldin is leading an afternoon of presentations at the 2011 BAPRAS Winter Meeting joined by Dr Dennis Hurwitz from the US and Dr Alexander Stoff from Germany who will be showcasing pioneering body contouring techniques that could be introduced into the UK. Dr Dennis Hurwitz will present his unique concept of Upper Body Lifting developed to minimise scarring and a technique combining extensive liposuction with body contouring to improve sculpturing and reduce complications. 

The BAPRAS Winter Meeting is being held in London from 30 November to 2 December. The meeting focuses on the latest innovations in reconstructive surgery from across the world, highlighting exemplary work carried out in 2011 and showing how plastic surgery techniques are helping patients overcome medical problems of both form and function.


BAPRAS is able to offer a limited number of media briefings with Mark Soldin, Dennis Hurwitz and Alexander Stoff. To arrange a briefing or interviews please contact Melissa Fife, Laura Buller or Adam Stones 020 7403 2230 or 07894 310 551

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

Speaker biographies 
Mark Soldin, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAPRAS Member 
After qualifying as a Plastic Surgeon in South Africa 1998 Mark Soldin fine-tuned his reconstructive and cosmetic surgical skills working in a number of units in the United Kingdom. He passed his British Plastic Surgery examinations in 2002 and was awarded the CCST. His clinical and academic background provides a profound expertise and understanding of aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. Mark Soldin is an NHS consultant at Kingston and St Georges University Teaching Hospitals. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and is actively involved in teaching and research.

Dennis J. Hurwitz, MD, FACS, is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Plastic) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the director of the Hurwitz Center for Plastic Surgery. During his 30 year career, Dr. Hurwitz has had a wide range of clinical interests. Over the past eight years, he has focused his clinical research and activity in body contouring surgery, most notably after massive weight loss.  He conceived Total Body Lift surgery which is a comprehensive minimal stage approach to correcting the deformities after weight loss.  He has initiated new and modified existing operations and has published his methods of Picture frame Pubic Monsplasty, L Brachioplasty, Spiral Thighplasty, Boomerang correction of Gynecomastia, J Torsoplasty as well as Spiral Flap reshaping of the breasts

Dr Alexander Stoff is attending of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Dreifaltigkeits Hospital, Cologne, Germany. His main fields of interest are body contouring surgery after massive weight loss, periorbital rejuvenation and surgical treatments of patients with  endocrine orbitopathy resulting from Graves Disease.