BAPRAS statement re Department of Health review into cosmetic surgery and procedures
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), which represents Plastic Surgeons on behalf of the Royal Colleges, has been part of the Government’s Expert Group on PIP breast implants since its formation in January 2012.
Tim Goodacre, Head of Professional Standards at BAPRAS and a leading Consultant Plastic Surgeon, said:
“BAPRAS warmly supports this review and its chosen areas to focus on, which are entirely in line with our own commitment to developing and improving the highest standards of care.
“We hope that this review leads to a wholesale change of practice for the cosmetic surgery industry. We would like to see the robust implementation of a code of practice that will include higher standards of training and practice for surgeons whose work includes cosmetic procedures. We urge that institutions which deliver such operations should have the highest standard of management throughout and following interventions, and bear greater responsibility for the surgeons who work within them. We also hope that the review will address irresponsible advertising which seeks to do more than inform and instead persuade to have procedures which are widely trivialized. A compulsory code of advertising practice should be statutory and swift action taken against those who break the rules. This would protect people against mis-selling, unrealistic expectations and the lure of cosmetic surgery ‘deals’, as well as cutting out irresponsible advertising targeted at a very vulnerable group in the population.
“We want to ensure that people considering cosmetic surgery and procedures are given the highest standard of unbiased information, with advice and time for reflection to make an informed choice. We have some scepticism that industry can deliver such non-conflicted information, and believe there is a clear role for authoritative professional organisations such as BAPRAS and the Royal Colleges of Surgeons to support such patient information.
“Professionalism and patient safety are our foremost concerns and BAPRAS has been at the forefront of driving the highest standards of cosmetic surgical practice. We have urged appropriate and well policed regulation for the benefit of the wider population, and in 2005 helped develop a strict code of conduct for doctors undertaking cosmetic surgery. We feel that a similar approach should now be developed to include all clinics and providers of cosmetic surgery.
“A key concern outlined for this review is the regulation and safety of products used in cosmetic interventions. This is an area in which BAPRAS continues to work actively and has consistently suggested that the establishment of a national breast implant registry is a vital component of understanding who does what, and where, and what the outcome is. Such data is the only mechanism with which early warnings of dangerous device failures can be identified reliably, and our work with Sir Bruce Keogh in developing the clinical response to the PIP breast implant situation reflected this position.
“We continue to work closely with the Government to provide guidance on ensuring the highest standards of plastic surgery safety and care, including developing training, standard setting, ongoing education, and research into better practice.”
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