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RCS launches new cosmetic surgery information

04 Oct 2016

RCS England today launched new, independent information online to counter the ‘aggressive marketing’ campaigns and ‘ruthless’ sales techniques that some unscrupulous private companies employ.

The RCS urges patients to ‘think carefully before cosmetic surgery’, and the new patient resources on the RCS website offer advice on how to choose the right surgeon and hospital, explain the risks of undergoing surgery, and possible complications to consider. These pages also include a section on questions to ask a surgeon before you consent to an operation, a downloadable checklist, and three short animation films.

Following the Keogh Review in 2013, the Department of Health asked the RCS to produce patient resources and set up a certification system. The Review, in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal, found that there was an urgent need to improve regulation of cosmetic surgical and non-surgical practices in the UK. It also found that some doctors are performing cosmetic surgery even though they have no surgical training.

The cosmetic surgery industry is burgeoning - last year, over 51,000 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 the coming months, the RCS will also publish a register of ‘certified surgeons’ in different cosmetic surgical procedures. This will allow patients to look for a surgeon by procedure who has provided evidence that they have the appropriate training, experience and insurance to practise in the UK.

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