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Safe cosmetic surgery choices need an educated public

19 February 2015

“You wouldn’t go for cut price brain surgery – you would want the best that you can get.”

These are the stark words from Nigel Mercer, President of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) to launch
Think Over Before You Make Over today – a national education campaign that aims to help anyone considering surgery to ensure the decision is the right one for them.

Our communications work with BAPRAS has helped to shine a light on the troubling way that many people in the UK make choices around cosmetic surgery, with research findings showing that two million people are considering or undergoing cosmetic surgery in the next year – yet one quarter of patients don’t check credentials of their surgeon, a fifth aren’t aware of the risks associated for them and a further fifth aren’t even clear on the potential outcomes before going ahead.

The vast majority of cosmetic procedures end with satisfied patients. However, for those people that are unhappy with their surgery, the physical and psychological effects can be long lasting. This is why creating an informed, empowered public, able to make active cosmetic surgery choices, is critical.

In order to ensure a surgeon has the right credentials, BAPRAS is urging patients to check they are on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Specialist Register for the discipline in which they have trained. It is also encouraging patients to ask their surgeon about their experience, as well as taking time out to cool off and think about their options.

Educational materials on the campaign website include a range of free guides to help people make active and informed choices, to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and to protect them from bad practice.

For surgeons, clinics, businesses and organisations that may be in a position to help inform people’s choices, we’d love you to get in touch, share news of the campaign and – critically – help more people to think over before they make over.