Plastic surgery

Welcome to Barts Health Plastic Surgery Centre. We are a key provider of plastic surgery care in London, treating patients with wounds, scars and soft tissue defects of every description including those arising from major incidents and burn injury.

We are passionate about making our patients better and give you an insight into the care that we provide. Whether you are visiting us for diagnosis, treatment or surgery, our team of surgeons and specialist nurses are here to support you.

Our team also supports a large number of other services at the Trust.

We provide plastic surgery services from:

  • The Royal London Hospital

For all plastic surgery queries, please contact BHNT.PlasticSurgery@nhs.net

Why choose us

Our service has a long tradition of excellence which continues today with a rating of ‘excellent’ – the highest possible rating – for the quality of our services from the independent health watchdog, the Healthcare Commission. We also produce some of the best clinical results in Britain.

Research

Barts Health Plastic Surgery Service is involved in active research with close working partnerships with Barts and The London’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Academic staff

The CCR comprises a large group of over 80 non-clinical and clinical scientists studying keratinocyte biology with extensive shared expertise and facilities developed over the last 22 years. This has created a unique unit in the national environment with a critical mass of both clinical and non-clinical scientists.

There are multiple research teams within the centre each led by a senior academic within the CCR. The CCR has a collegial structure where team leaders, centre lead, and representatives from other staff form a laboratory management group chaired by one of their number to manage all aspects of the research activity.

We also work in close cooperation with other specialities including:

  • Dermatology
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Maxillo facial surgery
  • Orthopaedic surgery

Working with local healthcare partners

In addition to our own services, we work very closely with local Clinical Resource Groups (CRG) to ensure that our patients receive continued and co-ordinated care before, during and after their stay at hospital.

In particular, we also join our tissue viability colleagues from Accelerate CIC in the Wound Healing Centre at Mile End Hospital, for patients requiring wound care and further follow on care in the community.

For patients

We specialise in many aspects of plastic surgery including patients with skin cancer and many other cancers requiring reconstruction, e.g. breast, head/neck area reconstruction, chronic, non-healing wounds, wound healing complications following and cardiothoracic surgery. We also carry out  plastic surgical reconstruction for children and young people and aesthetic reconstructive surgery.

Skin cancer

We run a sentinel lymph node biopsy service for melanoma and other high risk skin cancers. As we are one of only a handful of centres offering this service in London, the majority of patients diagnosed with melanomas in the north east Thames region are seen at this clinic.

The majority of the daycase activity within plastic surgery falls within this subspecialty area.

Clinics

The combined skin cancer clinic is a weekly multidisciplinary clinic for patients with complex skin cancers, and we are the specialist skin cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) for the north east Thames cancer network.

Patients receiving treatment at our clinic may be referred from other hospitals including Homerton University Hospital, King George Hospital, Basildon Hospital and Southend University Hospital.

Microvascular surgery

Our team undertakes complex reconstructions, including those involving free radial forearm and free flaps. We specialise in complex breast reconstructions, involving microvascular free tissue transfer. We also carry out more straightforward plastic surgical breast reconstructive procedures including implants.

To ensure that we are able to provide a comprehensive approach in caring for our patients, we hold weekly head and neck cancer multidisciplinary meetings which include staff from other services including ENT, clinical oncology, anaesthetics, speech and language therapy and ward nursing staff.

Clinics

Our microvascular surgery clinics take place every second week, with an outreach clinic taking place on alternate weeks at Homerton University Hospital.

Scar revision surgery

Barts Health is home to one of the UK’s first specialist keloid and skin camouflage clinics run by a clinical nurse specialist. The clinic ensures that patients receive continuity of care in a suitable setting, using the most appropriate therapy, support and counselling.

Keloid scars, the result of skin tumour care, can be painful, disfiguring and psychologically damaging, and there is a high incidence among the ethnically mixed population of north east London.

All new patients are seen initially by a consultant plastic surgeon and team, who then develop a treatment regime with the clinical nurse specialist who will administer injections which are commonly used to treat keloid scars. A unique skin camouflage clinic has been set up which provides advices on cosmetic skin camouflage which can be extremely effective in covering or concealing these types of scars and others such as burns.

Our patients are monitored closely and after they complete their treatment, they have follow-up appointments after three and six months to monitor for keloid recurrence. All our patients are given after care information to prevent keloid recurrence.

As a result of this specialised clinic, the management of keloid cases have improved and the rate of keloid recurrence is reduced.

Inpatients

All patients treated with plastic surgery conditions stay on 12C at The Royal London. Our patients with traumatic injuries are treated on our dedicated trauma ward at The Royal London.

Before your surgery

If you have a pre-booked appointment for surgery, you will be asked to attend a preadmission clinic a few weeks beforehand. This is so that you can be seen by a nurse and a doctor prior to your admission and they will ensure that you are fit for your procedure.

If you have any underlying medical conditions, we can ensure that these are reviewed before your admission to hospital. By attending the preadmission clinic, you will be able to come into hospital for your operation on the day of your surgery, thereby reducing the length of your stay in hospital.

At your appointment, which will last around three hours in total, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about your procedure. The sister will discuss with you any previous medical and surgical history you may have had and will record your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse. Additional tests such as blood tests and x-rays may also be required. A doctor will also see you at this appointment to listen to your chest and ask you to sign the consent form for the surgery. We ask all our patients to attend the preadmission clinic.

Outpatients

We are a leader in the provision of outpatient plastic surgery services for east London. We run specialist clinics for hand trauma, the follow-up of elective and acute general plastic and reconstructive surgery, and in wound care.

Dedicated clinics are run for scar management and we have a team of specialist plastic surgery nurses. All outpatient clinics for plastic surgery take place in the surgical outpatients department at The Royal London.

Plastic dressings clinic

We have many years of experience in the area of wound care and our dedicated clinics led by nurses.

We treat patients known to our plastic surgeons, who may have been seen in our emergency department, in clinics or on wards before and after surgery. We assess and plan wound care for patients and evaluate their progress periodically while they continue under the care of both community nurses and our own plastic surgeons. We aim to provide individualised, holistic care to our patients, and support patients’ care between the hospital and the community.

Our team treats a considerable range of wounds including skin grafts and flaps, various forms of reconstructive surgery and many hand and limb injuries. We see approximately 100 to 120 patients each week.

You can reach the plastic dressings outpatient service on 020 7377 7000 extension 46643.

Contact us

If you are diagnosed with a condition that requires plastic surgery and would like to be treated at Barts Health NHS Trust please contact your GP or speak to your hospital doctor. Our address is:

Ward 12C, Twelfth Floor
Main Building
The Royal London Hospital
Whitechapel Road
London, E1 1BB

Ward tel: 020 359 41210
Fax: 020 3594 0693

For clinicians

We are committed to providing our referring clinicians with information required to support you in making referrals to the service.

To refer a patients to our plastic surgery service please write to:

Central Appointments (CAO)
1st Floor, 9 Prescot Street
Barts Health NHS Trust
London, E1 8PR

Tel: 020 7767 3200
Fax: 020 3594 3279. This is monitored Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm

Alternatively patients can be referred to the Trust via:

For out-of-hours referrals

Outside office working hours, referrals for previous plastic surgery patients or for specific and urgent plastic surgery advice, contact the plastics registrar on-call who can be contacted via switchboard on tel: 020 7377 7000.