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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2018 Nov;71(11):1532-1538. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2018.07.012. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

An analysis of the cosmetic surgery experience acquired through UK plastic surgery training.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Department of Plastic Surgery, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, United Kingdom.
Faculty for Health Informatics, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Department of Medical Statistics, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester, M23 9LT, United Kingdom.



Cosmetic surgery is an essential component of Plastic Surgery training. Our study demonstrates the average cosmetic surgery experience of UK Plastic Surgery registrars over their 6-year training scheme. Comparison is made with the operative requirements for the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Cosmetic Certification scheme.


By using the web-based eLogbook, we analysed all the cosmetic surgery operations recorded by Plastic Surgery registrars during their specialist training. The weighted mean average number of procedures was calculated for different areas of cosmetic surgery practice, according to the level of supervision. The number of RCS cosmetic credits acquired for eight domains of cosmetic surgery was calculated, thus enabling comparison with the operative requirements for certification.


eLogbook data were collated for 454 registrars from 2010 to 2016 inclusive. Trainees participated in a mean of 122 cosmetic operations during their training (50% as an assistant), which satisfies the requirement of 100 procedures for CCT. The majority of trainee involvement (66%) was with cosmetic breast and body contouring cases. Comparison with the criteria for cosmetic certification reveals that on average, trainees could certify in cosmetic breast and body contouring surgery but would be unable to accredit in other areas of practice.


Current UK training affords sufficient cosmetic surgery exposure for CCT but offers a limited breadth of exposure. Trainees who wish to certify in cosmetic surgery of the head and neck region will likely be required to seek additional experience outside their deanery training programme.


Aesthetic surgery; Certification; Cosmetic surgery; Training


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