Plastic surgeons 'must specialise'
Plastic surgeons working in the private sector should not be allowed to carry out operations in areas outside their speciality, new proposals suggest.
People considering cosmetic procedures should be able to access "clear, unbiased and credible information" about the surgeon and the operation, the Royal College of Surgeons said.
Medical professionals should have to prove they are trained to a new standard and be listed on a register for patients to check before deciding on treatment, the plans advise.
The proposals by the College's Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee (CSIC) are out for consultation until March, and aim at ensuring the same standards are met in the world of cosmetic surgery as those involving medical surgery.
Under the plans surgeons would be required to show they have carried out a certain number of procedures on that particular part of the body before, and would only be certified to perform the surgery related to the speciality they have been trained in.
The surgeon would also be asked to give evidence of the results of their previous work, and would have to show they have the appropriate professional skills to carry out the surgery.
Committee chairman Stephen Cannon, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said the plans could bring a consistency to the standard of care provided.
"We are determined to ensure there are the same rigorous standards for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery in the UK as other types of surgery," he said.
"This consultation provides the next step in establishing clear and high standards for training and practice so that all surgeons in the UK are certified to the same level, irrespective of where they trained.
"We want patients, surgeons and providers of cosmetic surgery to respond to this consultation and give us their views so we can develop these new standards."
Efforts to regulate the cosmetic surgery industry in Britain were stepped up in recent years after a lmost 50,000 women in the UK and some 400,000 worldwide were affected by a scandal involving French firm Poly Implant Prothese which had been manufacturing implants using industrial grade silicone.
Doctors found unexpectedly high numbers of women were suffering from ruptured implants and many ended up having them removed.
The CSIC was set up in 2013 following a review by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh the previous year into cosmetic surgery regulations, which found that there was not enough protection for people against potential risks from procedures.