BAPRAS Surgeons streamline breast reconstruction to increase efficiency and benefit patients

25 November 2015

Members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) will today show how they have improved the efficiency of free flap breast reconstruction surgery, resulting in cost benefits to hospitals and improved outcomes for patients. 

Presenting at the Winter Scientific Meeting, BAPRAS Surgeons from Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and the Royal Free Hospital in London will explain how they have refined both their surgical technique and overall approach, reducing the traditional eight hour operation to around two hours. This results in considerable cost savings for the hospital, as it means that three procedures per day can be performed in a single operating theatre. 

The streamlined procedure also benefits patients as the time spent in surgery is significantly reduced, which means that the recovery period is shorter and that patients can be out of hospital more quickly. 

BAPRAS Surgeons have achieved the reduction in operating time after refining numerous small steps. This concept of ‘marginal gains’ – the notion that changes of just one per cent can add up to a remarkable improvement –  is the same approach successfully adopted by Great Britain’s cycling team. 

The changes that have contributed to this marked reduction in operation time include:

- Using imaging ahead of the actual surgery to prepare for how the procedure will be done
- Positioning each member of the team strategically around the patient to ensure improved efficiency
- Using fine microsurgical instruments to ensure minimal bleeding during dissection which means that the Surgeon’s vision is not obscured 
- Ensuring maximum efficiency of each member as the next stage of the process is continually being prepared by those not operating 

BAPRAS Surgeons are currently carrying out training for other departments to ensure that this best practice model of breast reconstruction is adopted throughout the UK. 

The Winter Scientific Meeting brings together consultants, trainees, nurses and clinicians working in the field of Plastic Surgery. Attracting over 400 delegates, the Meeting features guest lecture sessions throughout the programme, including talks on head, breast, cleft lip and palate and limb reconstruction. This year the three-day event takes place at the Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham. 


BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, 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;