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Body contouring guidelines

BAPRAS reiterates call for guidelines after surgery

There are currently no guidelines on the provision for reconstructive ‘body contouring’ surgery

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) has repeated its call for national guidelines to be drawn up on reconstructive body contouring surgery following bariatric weight loss procedures.

The association, which first called for national body contouring guidelines to be produced at their 2011 Winter Scientific Meeting, claims that despite patients developing medical problems caused by excess skin there are currently no guidelines on the provision for this type of surgery and NHS funding is very limited.

“There is on-going discussion about whether the costs for post-bariatric reconstructive surgery should be available on the NHS and access to these procedures varies across the country,” said Graeme Perks, President of BAPRAS and Consultant Plastic Surgeon. “Cost-benefit evidence about bariatric surgery is now available but the patient’s long term quality of life has not been fully considered. BAPRAS is calling for national guidelines on body contouring surgery to be developed and has been working with key stakeholders to produce a comprehensive set of patient criteria to be published this year.”

With a growing obesity epidemic in the UK, the number of patients undergoing bariatric surgery is increasing rapidly; under National Institute for Clinical Excellence criteria approximately 1.5 million British adults are currently eligible for these procedures.

A survey by MedeConnect, commissioned by BAPRAS, shows that of 1,000 GPs questioned 45% support NHS funding for body contouring surgery.

“We know that excess skin following massive weight loss can lead to significant on-going problems including soreness, recurrent infections, functional problems, depression, difficulty with sexual function and poor body image,” said Mark Soldin Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAPRAS member. “Initial findings from our research shows that there are significant physical and emotional benefits to patients who undergo body contouring surgery to remove this skin,  and that these patients go on to lead a far more physically active and healthy lifestyle. With the growing incidence of bariatric surgery in the UK it is essential that the aftercare for patients be given greater thought.”

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