Informed Consent -- ASAPS Position

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is committed to enhancing patient safety and patient education concerning the benefits and risks of cosmetic surgery. Although the ASAPS Code of Ethics does not define the details of fully informed consent for cosmetic surgical procedures, two general principles stated in the Code are applicable: a physician shall deal honestly with patients, and a physician shall respect the rights of patients.

Physicians enable patients to give informed consent, which is an informed decision to proceed with a medical treatment or surgical procedure, by providing them with all the facts and information necessary to make this "educated" decision.

Components of an informed consent for cosmetic surgery should include the following: the purpose of the proposed procedure; a summary of the surgical approach; expected benefits and limitations; a description of postoperative recovery; possible complications and known side-effects, including those that are rare; risks associated with anesthetics, analgesics, and antibiotics; appropriate alternatives, including the option of no treatment or surgery at all. This should be in written form and signed and dated by the patient.

A physician/surgeon uses his or her best judgment to determine and recommends treatments that will be most beneficial to the patient. It is the responsibility of the physician to communicate facts about such treatments to the patient in a clear and understandable manner. In addition to the ethical imperative for informed consent, it also provides important legal protection for the physician. Fully informed consent is in the best interests of both patients and physicians.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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