Intended for healthcare professionals


Surgeons set new standards for cosmetic treatments

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 29 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f590
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The Royal College of Surgeons has said only surgeons should provide cosmetic surgery and that non-surgical cosmetic treatments should be carried out only by doctors, dentists, and nurses who have had appropriate training. Currently, procedures such as laser treatment or injections of botulinum toxin or intradermal filler can be administered by anyone.

The college has produced new guidelines, Professional Standards for Cosmetic Practice,1 in the wake of the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) in 2010,2 which exposed a lack of consistent professional standards in the field of cosmetic practice.

Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “We have serious concerns that not all those who offer cosmetic procedures are adequately qualified or that patients are getting accurate information prior to treatment.”

Most cosmetic procedures are performed outside the NHS. In 2011, 43 000 cosmetic surgical procedures were done by members of the British Association of Aesthetic …

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