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Surgeons: how you can make Cosmetic Surgery Safer

With the new range of tools and services we have developed with patients, surgeons and providers you can:

  • help patients make the best decision about their choice of procedure, surgeon and hospital
  • demonstrate the quality of the service and the care you offer
  • review your outcomes and, where necessary, improve your practice

Help make cosmetic surgery safer:

  • Adhere to the GMC’s new Guidance for Doctors who Offer Cosmetic Interventions (2016) and RCS’ Professional standards for cosmetic surgery (2016). Our standards set out the ethics and behaviour we expect of all surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery. They address key areas of risk for cosmetic surgery including communication with patients, consent, professional behaviours, and dealing with the psychologically vulnerable patient. It should be read in conjunction with the GMC guidance.
  • Become certified by the RCS in the area in which you practise. There is a public register of certified surgeons which allows patients and employers to find a certified surgeon.
  • Ensure you have adequate professional indemnity insurance that covers the procedures you undertake.
  • Make sure your advertising and marketing is realistic, ethical, honest and responsible and follows regulatory codes and guidelines set by the Committee of Advertising Practice. Refrain from using financial inducements - such as discounts, time-limited or two-for-one offers - that may influence the patient’s decision.
  • Tell your patients about our online information resources and take account of our guidance when producing information for patients. If you would like to order hard copies of the downloadable patient resources please contact us for a quote.
  • Make sure the needs of your patients are at the centre of the consultation discussion and that your patients are fully informed before you seek their consent for the procedure. Don’t delegate – it is your responsibility to discuss the procedure with the patient and to seek their consent. It is essential to a shared understanding of expectations and limitations that consent to a procedure is sought by the surgeon who will perform it, or supervise its performance by another practitioner.
  • Use our pre-surgery information checklist to help ensure your patients have received important information before surgery.
  • Make sure your patients have at least two weeks between the consultation with you and the surgery, to help them make up their mind.
  • Work towards collecting and reporting on the RCS’ data items, for every cosmetic surgical procedure, to ensure that appropriate data are collected to support audit and quality improvement.
  • Encourage the use of SNOMED CT and the new cosmetic surgery subsets as the terminology of choice within your electronic health record system. This will ensure clearer and more consistent communication between different parts of the healthcare system. It will also allow for improved ability to extract activity data that accurately reflects practice as SNOMED terms link with the codes within OPCS and ICD10.
  • Routinely collect and report on patient feedback. We recommend using the Q-PROMs tools for selected procedures.

Access the new tools and services here and read more information about the work we are doing to make cosmetic surgery safer.

Further information or questions...



Call 0207 869 6119 to speak with a member of the project team


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