UK cosmetic surgeons launch patient checklist

London, UK – 3 August, 2006 – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, today published a concise checklist for those considering aesthetic plastic surgery, entitled ‘S.U.R.E’.

An innovative way of addressing safety concerns, the acronym was developed by the BAAPS to promote a sensible approach to what can be a life-altering decision. People may be still unaware of the risks associated with procedures performed by unqualified practitioners, and a reasonably basic check of the aspects involved should en-sure a positive outcome.

According to Adam Searle, consultant plastic surgeon and President of BAAPS:

“We need to promote public education with regards to safety. Patients can still be lured in by inexpensive prices and unrealistic claims, thinking that they are getting a bargain, but actually putting their health at risk. It can take just minutes to scroll through this checklist, to prevent a lifetime of regret.”

The SURE acronym stands for:

S: Check your Surgeon’s credentials and qualifications: your cosmetic practitioner should be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), and have furthered specialised studies in plastic surgery. Check that they are on the GMC specialist register, and are a member of BAAPS, or a suitable professional organisation. The Department of Health website provides guidance about the ‘letters’ following surgeons’ names.

U: Make sure you Understand whatÂ’s involved, and that you are informed about the potential risks of each procedure, be it surgical or non-surgical. You should be advised of where this will take place. It should be in a supervised medical facility, not someoneÂ’s front room, hotel or at the hairdresserÂ’s.

R: You should be clear about the process of Recovery, and what the long-term implications are of any cosmetic treatment. You need to understand the nature of the ‘downtime’ required and after-care options

E: Most important of all, make sure you thoroughly review your Expectations. It is essential that your hopes be compatible with what can actually be achieved. A patient who has a personal desire for, and is able to identify, specific, realistic goals for aesthetic enhancement is likely to be a suitable candidate – but someone who thinks the procedure will magically change their life may not be right for surgery.

Adam Searle adds:“We are often asked to see patients frustrated by disappointing outcomes. Surgery can be challenging, but many of these might have been avoided if a minimum of research had been done. We need to remind patients that they should do their homework—finding out more information about the procedure, location and practitioner before going for any kind of cosmetic treatments.”

The BAAPS based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeonsÂ’ contact details can be found on the web site, or by contacting their advice line at 020 7405 2234. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information.