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Tragedy highlights cosmetic surgery 'not for everyone'

Top Surgeons Reveal Most Common Reasons for Turning Away Patients

London, UK- 27 December 2008- Recent reports of a woman suffering a stroke after a facelift due to her high blood pressure, a condition which made her unsuitable for the surgery in the first place, has spurred 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, to highlight why patients may not be right for surgery. A new survey by the BAAPS reveals the top reasons why surgeons dissuade some people from having surgical procedures and what percentage of patients are turned away each year.


One-third (33%) of surgeons said the top reason why patients are turned away is due to the patient having unrealistic expectations, such as believing the procedure will 'solve all their problems' 

This was followed by 'Wanting surgery when not necessary' (e.g. someone requests a facelift, but they are much too young), with 30% of surgeons saying they turn down patients due to this

The 3rd most common reason was pre-existing medical conditions, with almost one-fourth of surgeons citing these as an explanation

5% of BAAPS surgeons cited patients being 'obsessed with celebrity looks' as one of the most common reasons for unsuitability

Almost half (46%) of BAAPS surgeons have turned away around one in ten patients seen in the past year

Over one-fourth (28%) have turned away between 10-20% of all patients

One in five surgeons have turned away around up to 30% of patients

Nigel Mercer, consultant plastic surgeon and President of BAAPS, states;

"This unnecessary tragedy reiterates the importance of a thorough consultation with a qualified aesthetic plastic surgeon. In the current economic climate, some unscrupulous clinics might be tempted to boost their numbers by operating on unsuitable patients so it’s important the public not be seduced by marketing gimmicks and financial incentives. There is risk in any surgical procedure but this can be minimised by choosing the right practitioner who can evaluate an accurate history and educate the patient about the choices available."

Nigel adds;

"As a surgeon, the patient's health and well-being should always come first and sometimes that means turning that person down for cosmetic surgery - no matter how much they want it or for how long they've been saving up for it."

According to Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and Honorary Secretary of BAAPS;

"I have seen quite a few patients in their 30s that ask for a facelift and refer to it as just 'a little nip/tuck' to 'freshen up the face'. People in this age group are much too young for a facelift, which is far from being a minor surgical procedure. This is a perfect example of when, as a surgeon, it is my moral duty to say 'No', as the surgery is completely unnecessary."


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 surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

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