37,000 Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons, 35,000 residents in training, 30,000 Hand Surgeons, 1,000 Micro Surgeons and 1,000 Burn Specialists from 99 nations are united in IPRAS – International Confederation of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery is a young and innovative specialty. Due to the rapid development of microsurgery, we now have the chance to cure patients with large defects such as transplantation of the limb and face. Training in aesthetic surgery is inseparably related to reconstructive surgery. This is why many European nations only allow plastic surgeons to perform aesthetic surgery.
With great joy, we present the humanitarian work of IPRAS. The majority of our members are involved in charitable projects: they spend their vacations doing volunteer work in third world countries. IPRAS has a new initiative, Women for Women that aims to supply help by female surgeons to patients suffering from disfiguring and socially excluding sequalae of trauma that often occurs out of ethnic or social traditions or typical environmental conditions that women in several countries are subjected to.
Membership in an IPRAS-recognized society means an obligation to practice our high ethical standards.
Goals and Objectives
The purpose of IPRAS, as stated in the By-Laws, is to promote the art and science of plastic surgery, to further plastic surgery education and research, and to encourage friendship among plastic surgeons and physicians of all countries.
IPRAS has several major goals that bear restating at its 50year mark, each of which ultimately should result in improvement in the care and treatment of each and every patient entrusting their care to a plastic surgeon. Each goal should be examined in greater detail.
The major educational effort of IPRAS/IPRAF is the Quadrennial Scientific Congress. This Congress provides a venue for plastic surgeons from around the world to bring the fruits of their investigative efforts to the critical arena of their peers. Quadrennial Scientific Congresses have been held in the major centers of plastic surgery around the world with the next Congress scheduled for Berlin, Germany in June 2007. Prospective host countries, under the aegis of an Organizing Committee, bid for the right to host the Congress at the current Congress and the Council of National Delegates selects the winner.
Usually, 800 to 1,000 abstracts are received. The vast majority are accepted to be read in either Plenary Sessions or in smaller, topic-specific sessions. This structure has allowed many of the younger plastic surgeons to present their work and have it critiqued by senior plastic surgeons. Plenary Sessions include Panels that explore current research and technical advances in depth by leaders in the field.
However, another educational effort is a priority for IPRAS/IPRAF. This effort is to bring plastic surgery education to those surgeons working in emerging countries who may not have access to such education otherwise. Small groups of plastic surgical educators visit various countries to provide didactic education and technical training for these surgeons and prospective trainees. Current efforts are being organized for Moldava and Central Africa.
The basic driving concept behind the establishment of IPRAS was to ensure that plastic surgery quality was established around the world. From its inception, IPRAS has been concerned by the incursion of untrained physicians traveling around the world performing operations for which they are not trained. With the advent of global interest in aesthetic surgery, maintenance of standards in plastic surgery is critical. In many countries, membership in IPRAS has been instrumental in convincing governmental bodies that the member plastic surgery society should be the qualifying and certifying organization.
In the European Union, for example, IPRAS has supported and assisted the European Committee for Quality Assurance and Medical Devices in Plastic Surgery (EQUAM) in the quest for rational interpretation of scientific data during the debate over the safety of silicone-gel breast implants. Having the expressed support of an international plastic surgery organization was critically important in the deliberations of the various governmental groups, which made decisions about the availability of the implants. As a corollary, the International Registry of Breast Implants (IBIR) has been supported by IPRAS in organizational and financial needs.
In conclusion, the founding plastic surgeons, who gave birth to IPRAS, were committed to the principle that those who have should provide for those who do not have. This principle continues to guide all of the activities of the leadership of IPRAS/IPRAF.
During the past decade, various members of the EXCO, the IPRAF Board, and the Council of National Delegates have visited emerging plastic surgery communities to assist in the organizational development of a national society. The best example of a success is the establishment of the Russian Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (RSPRAS). The founding members of this society were drawn from multiple medical disciplines with varying training backgrounds. In a brief decade, RSPRAS has grown to approximately 400 members and has held four biennial Scientific Congresses, which are scientifically solid and organizationally stable. Two other countries have requested similar assistance.
Over the 50 years of IPRASХs existence, changes in the political structure have presented challenges to IPRAS. At this juncture, all of the affected countries, both existing and new, have been incorporated into the IPRAS structure. Appropriate organizational advice has been provided where required.
How to become a member
From the following Sections of IPRAS By-Laws, please find the requirements in order to apply for membership in IPRAS.
Section A. National Associations
- An official national association of plastic surgeons, representing the majority of plastic surgeons, shall represent that country in IPRAS.
- Each such association shall consist of at least 5 members.
- Applications for membership from national associations shall not be rejected on the basis of religious beliefs or political ideals of the parent nation.
- Αn English version of Associations’ by-laws
Section E. Provisional Associations
- National associations formed not less than prior to six weeks prior to the next meeting of the Council of National Delegates may be recognized as a provisional association by action of the Executive Committee.
- Such provisional associations shall be elevated to full membership at the next meeting of the Council of National Delegates, providing all other requirements of membership have been met.
- Provisional associations may appoint an observer to the Council of National Delegates for representation at its biennial meeting until national association status has been confirmed by the Council of National Delegates.
- Observers may participate in discussions and debates, but may not vote.
- When national association status is achieved, the observer shall be seated as the delegate with full rights, privileges, and obligations.
- Provisional associations will pay dues for each year they have provisional status.
The Council of National Delegates has the responsibility to approve applications of national associations for membership.
If your national association is ready to apply for membership, please email us.