History of BAPRAS

The British Association of Plastic Surgeons, 1946 - 2005

The idea of an Association was put forward by Sir Harold Gillies at a meeting at Hill End Hospital in 1944. The aim was to direct the development, uphold the standards and safeguard the interests of this burgeoning specialty. On 20 November 1946, 36 surgeons attended the first meeting at the Royal College of Surgeons and elected Sir Harold Gillies as their president.

An early proposal was to start a regular scientific communication on the subject, and the British Journal of Plastic Surgery was launched in March 1948 under the editorship of Mr A B Wallace, although its name was changed in 2006 to the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (JPRAS)

BAPS Council 1952
BAPS Council at Roehampton, September 1952
From left: A H McIndoe, R Mowlem, J N Barron, R J V Battle, A B Wallace, J P Teidy, T P Kilner, J S Tough

BAPRAS, 2005 to present

In December 2004, the majority of members of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons voted to change the Association's name to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). After 60 years, it was decided that the time had come to refresh the Association's image and devise an identity that would accurately reflect the work performed by modern-day plastic surgeons. Plastic surgery is a broad surgical discipline, and the Association represents all UK plastic surgeons, whatever their sub-specialisation, and at a time of increasing fragmentation it was felt that a new title was needed to encompass all specialties and skills within plastic surgery.

The name-change was accompanied by a major overhaul of the Association's visual identity, and the new look and name, designed to communicate more clearly the nature and role of plastic surgery today, were confirmed at the AGM of December 2005. At this meeting, the constitution was changed and a new era began.

The Antony Wallace Archive

BAPRAS maintains an archive of instruments, photographs and other artefacts, which chart the history and development of plastic surgery in the UK. More information about the archive can be found in the 'professionals' section of the website, here

The History of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons- the first forty years

This book was published in 1987. A pdf copy is available to view here


Picking up on where the previous history book left off, in November 2016, as the Association approached its 70th birthday, we published the history of BAPRAS from 1986-2016, which was edited by Honorary Archivist, Mr A Roger Green. 

Click here to download the book