LONDON, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The European society that represents all national associations in Plastic Surgery across Europe today issued a call-to-action for a comprehensive approach to protect patients from under-trained 'Beauty Surgeons', some of whom are not certified Plastic Surgeons and only trained in special regions of the body - or even not trained in surgery at all.
The European Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (ESPRAS - http://www.espras.org) ensures that all member Plastic Surgeons have advanced multi-year training in Plastic Surgery, however, in most European countries there is no law to stop medical doctors without specialisation calling themselves "aesthetic surgeons" or "beauty doctors". Shockingly, often even paramedics can take on these titles with just basic knowledge acquired over weekend courses or short Plastic Surgery attachments. On the flip side, board-certified surgeons meet the highest degree of qualification; have multi-year specialisation, work rotations in ICU and emergency care, undertake research and teaching, are required to demonstrate a catalogue of operations, and sit a final exam.
Riccardo Giunta, consultant Plastic Surgeon in Munich, Germany and President of ESPRAS says:
"Individuals who claim to be aesthetic surgeons, beauty surgeons, or beauty doctors without proper training as certified plastic surgeons may compromise patient safety. The financial allure of both aesthetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetics attracts many individuals, and the public is generally uninformed about the standard of care in training. Patients may believe that a professional with these titles has the appropriate qualifications to ensure safety, but this may not be the case. They may not have passed the standards of a board certified Plastic Surgeon and lack essential knowledge. Unregulated commercial organisations perpetuate this issue, leading to the pseudo-legitimisation of under-trained individuals. Furthermore, although surgeons of other specialties have surgical training, they have not been trained in Plastic Surgery or have only limited Plastic Surgical training in their specific region of the body."
ESPRAS conducted a survey across 23 European countries, to assess levels of education/specialisation in Plastic Surgery. The results demonstrated a high level of training required for board certification, further driving home the need for the public to be made aware of the dangers of opting for a practitioner who is not trained to this standard. Such a move is the first step to ensuring quality of training, with patient safety taking precedence over financial gain, ESPRAS claims in its position paper. ESPRAS is working to support national legislation to provide clear regulation of aesthetic surgery Europe-wide.
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