Anglia Ruskin launches cosmetic surgery degree

Published: 1 May 2012 at 10:34

Unique qualification aims to improve patient safety and raise public awareness

Anglia Ruskin University has launched the world’s first practice-based degree in aesthetic plastic surgery.

Established with the aim of increasing standards and patient safety in the field of cosmetic surgery, the MSc in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Practice will be run from Anglia Ruskin’s Postgraduate Medical Institute in Chelmsford.

James Frame, Professor of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Aesthetic plastic surgery is a rapidly enlarging, super-speciality that requires recognition in its own right.  The primary intention of developing this qualification is to improve patient safety and raise public awareness through best practice.
“At present a newly-qualified, fully-accredited plastic surgeon is released, totally lacking any experience in aesthetic plastic surgery, and is able to operate in the private sector.  This degree will benefit surgeons and therefore should improve the quality of surgery that patients receive.”

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 43,069 procedures were carried out in the UK last year, an increase of 5.8% on 2010.  Breast augmentation and reduction, rhinoplasty, neck and face lifts, and eyelid surgery were the most popular cosmetic procedures in 2011.

It is hoped that by establishing a clear and transparent UK qualification, it will deter some of the tens of thousands of Britons who fly abroad for so-called “safari surgery” each year. 

Professor Frame added:

“If aesthetic surgery is recognised as a speciality, with its own qualification, then clearly the public will benefit because it will help them to easily identify and employ a qualified surgeon here in the UK.  At present there are too many under-qualified surgeons, particularly from elsewhere in the EU, coming over here and operating.
“The low price of flying abroad for cosmetic surgery can also be appealing but poor aftercare is a serious issue and the NHS spends millions of pounds each year rectifying problems caused by people undergoing cosmetic surgery outside the UK.”

Trainees on the course will be supervised by a group of leading UK-qualified plastic surgeons including Professor Frame, Mr Paul Levick, Mr Adrian Richards and Mr James McDiarmid.

The MSc in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Practice is open to all accredited plastic surgeons based in the UK, with the first cohort beginning in September.  Should they wish, trainees will be able to proceed to a full doctorate in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the course will be opened up to overseas plastic surgeons from 2013.