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The Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions

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26 Apr 2013


The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh welcomes the publication of The Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions. A Review Committee was established in the wake of the events surrounding the Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP) silicone breast implants which raised specific issues about the provision and regulation of cosmetic surgery. The report establishes the responsibility of informing and protecting patients as the prime requirement for those delivering cosmetic treatments.


Priorities for patients seeking cosmetic treatment must be the requirement to provide them high quality information and to allow fully informed consent which must include an understanding of the risks of treatment as well as its possible benefits. The central role of the Royal Colleges is emphasised and we are strongly supportive of the recommendation that they should establish an Interspecialty Committee on Cosmetic Surgery to allow appropriate standards of training and practice to be established. Furthermore, the establishment of a Register of those performing cosmetic interventions is essential and that entry to this must be based on high quality education and training.


The report although published in England is applicable across the United Kingdom. This College will wish to work with the College in London and on behalf of our College's numerous Fellows and Members in England to ensure that the recommendations in this report are implemented and that the standards required for education, training and provision are as robust as those in all other areas of surgical practice. The ministerial statement also mentions the practice of cosmetic dental procedures: it would be the wish of this College that oral and dental cosmetic procedures should also lie within the remit of this proposed Interspecialty Committee on Cosmetic Surgery.


The report recommends control of advertising of cosmetic procedures. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh believes that this is a further essential component of effective regulation but is mindful of the resources that will be required to make this effective.


Regulation and protection of patients in the provision of cosmetic surgical procedures is long overdue. This report re-enforces the requirement for the Royal Colleges to act purposefully in the interests of the patients whom we serve.

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