Skip to main content

BAAPS Issue Consumer Safety Guidelines

BAAPS offer advice and guidance for individuals considering plastic surgery

London, UK - 25 October, 2004 - The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( today published their general safety guidelines for anyone considering aesthetic plastic surgery treatments.

Advice includes researching the background and experience of your chosen surgeon, ensuring you know of any risks or possible side-effects of any treatment, and having a realistic idea of what any surgery can, or cannot, achieve.

Adam Searle, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and President of the BAAPS, says consumers need to make educated decisions about any treatment:

"There is a real need for patients to take responsibility when choosing a surgeon, and to ask the right questions. There are many potential sources for cosmetic plastic surgery information, but not all are equally credible. The British Association of Aesthetic Surgery (BAAPS) offers the following tips to help patients considering undergoing treatment."

The BAAPS' Guidelines in Full:

Make your own decisions: The real expert on your appearance and any concerns you may have is YOU. The only assistance you should need is to decide what, if any, surgery you might need, and you should ensure you get unbiased information regarding what might be technically possible and any associated risks and benefits. Do not let anyone talk you into doing anything for which you had little concern before the consultation.

Be Informed: Anyone considering any cosmetic procedure should ensure they are fully informed and accept the limitations and risks of any procedure. Remember, no surgeon or procedure is 100% risk free.

Be Comfortable: Make sure you feel comfortable with the organisation, surgeon and clinic you have chosen.

Know your surgeon: Many practitioners purport to be experts, but many are not even surgeons. Practitioners may boast impressive sounding qualifications, but these can have little meaning. Organisations associated with and preferably based in the Royal College of Surgeons will demonstrate acceptable standards of practice, i.e., those which you can reasonably expect of surgeons and doctors in general. Hospitals which have strong associations with NHS consultants and practice will also adhere to these standards and so offer some level of reassurance. The BAAPS can help you find a properly credentialed surgeon in your area.

Get the timing right: Unless the circumstances are exceptional, avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children.

Beware of 'free' consultations and avoid booking fees or non-refundable deposits (a typical feature of many commercial clinics). Nothing is free and if the surgery is right for you then there will be no need for you to be locked into going ahead by any financial cancellation penalties.

Think about location: Do not travel a long distance or overseas for any surgery unless you are comfortable with the arrangements to follow up and the management of any problems or complications which might arise.

Talk to Your GP: Your GP has no interest other than your welfare, so many doctors are very happy to advise patients and not be judgemental about something which many people feel very sensitive and vulnerable about.

You Can Always Change Your Mind: Hopefully everything will be totally to your satisfaction, but remember you have the option to cancel right up until the time you go to sleep for surgery. The fundamental reason for the surgery is to make you feel better about yourself, and if this is compromised, surgery should not proceed. No reputable surgeon would normally impose any penalty for cancellations.

Take Your Time: Remember that undergoing surgery is a serious commitment.

According to Mark Henley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAAPS Council member;

"Cosmetic surgery undertaken in appropriate circumstances is very positive and can be life changing in a highly beneficial way. However, if things are not right then it is likely to be at least unsatisfactory and, at worst, disastrous for all concerned."

For all media enquiries, please contact

View other press releases