BABS and the Public Interest

Cosmetic surgery is an important medical service in the UK, but since the National Health Service does not cover it, doctors must demonstrate competency in training and practice themselves.  The General Medical Council has given guidelines to doctors working in the field of cosmetic procedures, stipulating that they must be able to demonstrate adequate training and competency for the procedures they perform.  The GMC has proposed that competency for cosmetic treatments is established through a system of credentialing, however, there is no established college currently taking responsibility for body sculpting procedures

The British Association of Body Sculpting (BABS) is a collegial group of doctors involved in the practice of certain types of cosmetic procedures, notably those related to body sculpting and contouring.  It was formed to help define, formulate, and disseminate a set of procedures that constitute best practice in the field.  As such, its work is about patient safety, is structured according to GMC guidance, and is strictly in the public interest.

The BABS objectives are not to promote cosmetic procedures, rather to ensure that best practices are widely disseminated to practitioners, that patients are well informed, and that training be available to new doctors.

The BABS works to document best practices for the three phases of interactions with patients:

  • Providing medically accurate patient information, to explain risks, and properly set expectations
  • Stipulating safe and effective operative techniques
  • Establishing adequate post-operative patient care

The association annually collects information from practitioners, and regularly reviews best practice for potential improvements as derived from logged procedural data.

The BABS also works with doctors to improve patient psychological assessments, complaints procedures, and a wide variety of other sectors important in ensuring that patients receive safe, respectful, and acceptable cosmetic treatments in body sculpting.

Public Benefits

Public education 

Formalised and continuosly updated information on:

  • Healthy body weight and shape
  • Healthy life style requirements
  • Types of body sculpting treatments
  • Risks and limitations of treatments
  • Alternative options
  • Specific medical conditions associated deficient or excessive fatty layers, impaired fat cell function
  • Distorted body image

Public protection

  • Conduct investigations of complaints relating to Clinical Governance and Conduct issues 
  • Regularly gather audit data, and identify adverse reactions and outcomes from body sculpting procedures
  • Provide data to support the dissemination of medical statistics
  • Implement continuous improvement through revised guidelines and recommendations based on data trends and studies

Independent information about credentials 

  • Provide a source to check doctors specific abilities to perform body sculpting surgeries
  • Provide a verifiable source of information about the continuous education activities of surgeons performing body scuplting
  • Provide a verifiable source of information about the number and types of body sculpting procedures performed per year by doctors