Skip to main content

Joint BAAPS/BAPRAS position statement on plastic surgeons performing aesthetic surgery

The public in the UK rightly expect and deserve the highest possible standards and safety when considering aesthetic plastic surgery. Their surgeons should be well trained, competent and demonstrate involvement in continuing professional development in aesthetic surgery.

Plastic surgeons are unique amongst UK surgical specialists with respect to aesthetic surgery: as plastic surgery includes training in aesthetic surgery across all anatomical areas of the body.  

The plastic surgery curriculum incorporates the psychological aspects of dealing with patients impacted by disfigurement, body image concerns and loss of form and function. Aesthetic surgery thus forms part of the plastic surgery syllabus and all trainees are formally examined in aesthetic practice as part of the FRCS(Plast) exit (consultant level) exams. No other surgical specialty in the UK incorporates aesthetic surgery in the same manner in its curriculum or training.  The depth of history behind plastic surgery including the speciality being at the forefront of developing aesthetic surgery means that for the majority of people that when aesthetic surgery is being considered, one thinks of a plastic surgeon and plastic surgery.

At a consultant level, plastic surgeons undertaking aesthetic plastic surgery include this aspect of their practice in their annual appraisals and five yearly revalidation with the GMC, ensuring the maintenance of a high level of care and of continuing professional development (CPD) in this area of their practice. 

Due to restrictions in service provision over the last 20 years, many aesthetic procedures are not provided routinely in the NHS. However, plastic surgeons are still trained in all aspects of aesthetic plastic surgery. Unlike many other surgical specialties, the range of surgical procedures a plastic surgeon performs privately will therefore not exactly mirror their NHS practice.

The concept of a surgeon’s scope of practice in the private sector reflecting their NHS practice has therefore not existed for many years.

BAAPS and BAPRAS, the two UK official professional plastic surgery associations, fully support their members undertaking aesthetic plastic surgery, which they have been trained and examined in and can demonstrate their ongoing CPD in their annual appraisals.

Should any advice or guidance be required regarding the governance of aesthetic plastic surgery, senior leadership team members from BAAPS and BAPRAS will be available on request.

Marc Pacifico MD FRCS(Plast)                   Mani Ragbir (FRCS(Plast)
Consultant Plastic Surgeon                           Consultant Plastic Surgeon
President BAAPS                                          President BAPRAS         


Download a copy of the statement here.




View other press releases