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Laser and refractive surgery covered by new GMC guidance on cosmetic surgery

18 May 2016

Refractive surgery is primarily functional rather than cosmetic, but both refractive and cosmetic surgical procedures share key attributes setting them apart from other areas of routine medical intervention: they are entirely elective and predominantly self-funded. Accordingly, the GMC has advised that their April 2016 ‘Guidance for Doctors who offer Cosmetic Interventions’ should also apply to refractive surgery.

The new GMC guidance is designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic industry and make sure all patients, and especially those who are most vulnerable, are given the care, treatment and support they need. The guidance makes clear the ethical obligations doctors have towards patients and the standards of care they need to provide.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG) are pleased that the GMC have confirmed that these will be covered within the scope of the new guidance. The RSSWG are working on Professional Standards in Refractive Surgery guidance, that aligns to the GMC guidance and this will be communicated in due course. More information can be found on the GMC website: GMC Guidance for doctors offering cosmetic intervention, the press release and FAQs.