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Manchester surgeon becomes first to receive Royal College of Surgeons cosmetic surgery certification

14 Jul 2017

A surgeon from Manchester has become the first to be endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons to perform cosmetic surgery. The cosmetic surgery certification, which was launched in January, aims to make the cosmetic surgery industry safer for patients.

Gary Ross, a plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon at the BMI Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle and the Christie Clinic in Withington, is the first surgeon in the country to receive certification from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). He can now demonstrate to patients that he has the right skills and experience to perform cosmetic procedures to a safe and high standard.  

The cosmetic surgery industry is burgeoning - in 2015, over 51,000[i] cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the private sector in England, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ audit of its members. Yet patients often find it difficult to choose a suitable surgeon and to obtain trustworthy information about the risks involved.

In response, the RCS has launched a certification scheme for surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery and later this year, patients and hospitals will be able to search for a certified surgeon on the RCS website. 

To apply for certification surgeons must be on the General Medical Council's (GMC) specialist register in a specialty that demonstrates training and experience in their chosen area of practice. Surgeons are also required to provide evidence of their professional and clinical skills, knowledge and experiences.

Surgeons are able to apply for certification in one or more groups of closely related cosmetic surgical procedures.

Mr Ross has been certified in cosmetic breast surgery, cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, periorbital region & ears, cosmetic body contouring surgery and body contouring following massive weight loss.  As part of the certification process, Mr Ross also completed a two-day masterclass that covered topics including elements of an effective consultation; professional approaches to complaints and complications; and effective post-operative care.  

This week, former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley put forward a private members’ bill that would enable the General Medical Council to note on its medical register which surgeons have been awarded RCS cosmetic surgery certification.

Mr Tim Goodacre, Royal College of Surgeons council member and cosmetic surgery lead, said:

“We are delighted the first surgeon has now completed our certification process as it is an important step towards further protecting patients. Currently, any doctor, surgeon or otherwise is able to perform a cosmetic surgery procedure.

“We urge all surgeons who work in the cosmetic surgery industry to apply for certification. By doing this, you are putting patient safety first and making clear that you have the right training and experience to perform cosmetic surgery procedures. The more surgeons who are certified, the easier it will be for patients to choose the right surgeon for them.”

Mr Gary Ross, cosmetic surgeon at the BMI Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle and the Christie Clinic in Withington, said:

“I am honoured to become the first cosmetic surgeon in the UK to receive RCS cosmetic surgery certification.

“The certification process provides patients considering undergoing a cosmetic surgery the reassurance that their surgeon is skilled in the procedure they are having done. All cosmetic surgeons can help raise professional standards by applying for certification.”

Alongside the certification scheme and professional standards for cosmetic surgery, the RCS has published patient resources on its website that offer advice on how to choose the right surgeon and hospital, explain the risks of undergoing surgery, and highlight possible complications to consider.

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You can read the full list of certified cosmetic surgeons here:

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

For more information, please contact the Press Office:

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