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BAAPS and TSPRAS Collaborate on Guidelines for Procedures in Turkey

Ensuring Safety in Cosmetic Surgery: BAAPS and TSPRAS Collaborate on Guidelines for Procedures in Turkey

Date: June 23, 2023

In response to the concerning rise in complications associated with cosmetic surgery tourism, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the Turkish Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (TSPRAS) have taken a remarkable step forward. Together, they have issued comprehensive guidelines aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of patients seeking cosmetic procedures abroad, with a particular focus on Turkey.

**Elevated Concerns and Growing Complications**

The year 2022 witnessed an alarming 35% increase in complications arising from cosmetic surgery, as revealed by the BAAPS Annual Cosmetic Surgery Audit. This concerning trend has prompted BAAPS and TSPRAS to unite in their shared concern for patient care standards.

Both organizations acknowledge that individuals from various countries may choose to seek medical and surgical treatments abroad for various reasons. However, they share significant apprehensions regarding the quality of care provided in certain cases. While it is understood that all surgeries inherently carry some level of risk, recent reports have underscored issues such as substandard practices, unwarranted risk-taking, and preventable harm to patients.

**Disparities in Regulatory Standards**

Marc Pacifico, President of BAAPS, highlights a stark contrast in regulatory standards between different countries. In the United Kingdom, patients have the privilege of verifying surgeons' credentials through the GMC Specialist Register, and hospitals and clinics are subject to rigorous regulation by the CQC. However, these stringent regulatory measures are not universally applied, leaving patients more exposed in some foreign destinations.

**Guidelines for Ensuring Patient Safety**

In an effort to empower patients with knowledge and shield them from potential harm, BAAPS and TSPRAS have collaborated to create a set of comprehensive guidelines for individuals considering cosmetic surgery in Turkey—a nation renowned for its flourishing cosmetic tourism industry. These guidelines serve as a valuable resource, providing patients with key points to consider:

- **Surgeon's Membership**: Patients are advised to ensure that any Turkish surgeon they consult is a member of TSPRAS, with the option to verify their membership through the society's official website.

- **Board Certification**: Patients should confirm that their chosen Turkish surgeon holds Turkish board certification and should not hesitate to request to see the certification itself.

- **EBOPRAS Membership**: While not mandatory, EBOPRAS (European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) membership serves as an indicator of a surgeon's commitment to their field.

- **Experience**: Patients are encouraged to select a surgeon with a minimum of five years of practice in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, recognizing the variance in training standards.

- **Aftercare Plan**: Patients should expect their surgeon to provide a comprehensive aftercare plan, prioritizing their well-being post-surgery.

- **Surgeon's Contact Information**: Familiarity with the surgeon's name and knowledge of how to contact them in the event of concerns are essential.

- **Clinic Affiliation**: Patients should inquire about the duration of their surgeon's association with their clinic or company, with a recommended minimum of three years.

- **Informed Consent**: Patients must ensure that a comprehensive consent form is completed before their travel to Turkey. Its absence should raise concerns.

- **Specialty Verification**: It is imperative to verify the surgeon's specialty, as some practitioners in Turkey may falsely claim to be plastic surgeons without the requisite credentials.

- **Hospital Recognition**: Opting for a surgeon who operates in a recognized hospital in Turkey, typically identified by having a minimum of 30 beds, is advised.

**Putting Patients First**

President Marc Pacifico underscores that these guidelines have been crafted to assist patients in conducting thorough research when considering surgeons and clinics in Turkey. He strongly encourages potential patients to exercise discernment and prudence when contemplating surgery abroad.

In an era where healthcare transcends borders and choices abound, these collaborative guidelines stand as a testament to a patient-centric approach. They ensure that individuals opting for cosmetic surgery overseas can do so with the confidence that their safety is paramount, irrespective of their destination.

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