World War I marked the birth of the plastic surgery specialty with the reconstruction of the soldiers who had been mutilated in battle. One of the founding fathers in Italy was Prof. Sanvenero Rosselli, who continued to use reconstructive surgery to also help patients with cosmetic problems. Thus, aesthetic plastic surgery comes directly from reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. Today, all specialist plastic surgeons who practice aesthetic plastic surgery, are first trained in reconstructive plastic surgery.
In September 2011, AICPE, the Italian Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, was founded, finally filling a gap in Italy. Indeed, while it was something new for Italy, the contrary is true for many other European and non-European countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States, Argentina, Australia and Japan. In these countries, associations representing all those interested in aesthetic plastic surgery coexist in harmony with associations of reconstructive plastic surgery, and each association is responsible for its own sector and, above all, strives to meet the diverse needs of its members and patients. In fact, the interests and aspirations of those who have chosen to deal mainly with cosmetic surgery differ from those who dedicate themselves almost exclusively to microsurgery or burns, which are disciplines that often require complete dedication due to their complexity. Freelance professionals who rely exclusively on cosmetic surgery to support themselves, just like many hospital workers and university students who practice this discipline with passion, all have specific needs that colleagues who instead focus entirely on the more strictly reconstructive part of plastic surgery do not have.
The Association was founded to:
- promote aesthetic plastic surgery training and practice, with the aim of encouraging an exchange of knowledge between qualified surgeons in the name of progress in aesthetic plastic surgery
- support and defend aesthetic plastic surgery as a recognised and respected discipline
- develop and encourage the practice of high standards of personal, professional and ethical conduct among its members
- establish stable relationships with international aesthetic plastic surgery associations
- promote a better understanding of aesthetic plastic surgery among medical practitioners and, in particular, GPs
- disseminate to members of the Association all the latest information on the medical profession and the results of the latest scientific research
- provide certified information and advise all those who request information on aesthetic plastic surgery.
Membership fees guarantee AICPE’s economic autonomy, and therefore its ability to meet its members’ specific requirements and to achieve certain objectives, such as, a good press office; a public relations consultant; a specific insurance contract, even though we are aware that this objective is far from easy to achieve; legal defence for the profession, which, unfortunately, is all the more necessary; an eye-catching website with a good ranking in search engines, to compete with the well-designed sites of commercial organisations; a purchase consortium; and many other things, which unfortunately are expensive and this is why those who wish to participate need to pay a high membership fee.
AICPE’s Articles of Association were drafted taking into consideration the requests and objections of all those who took part in the meetings and assemblies held and they were subsequently amended by a law firm specialised in this field.
The characteristics that AICPE “founders” desired for the Association include streamlined decision-making, greater involvement of its members, who will be informed of the content of each meeting of the Board of Directors, creating a direct line between the Members and the Board of Directors. Of course, any member who would like to make any suggestions or finds interesting opportunities will have the moral duty to share them with the other Members. Interactivity will be AICPE’s main feature.
The various positions (President, Secretary, etc.) will not be assigned to give personal prestige to anyone, but are intended only to distribute the commitment that each person is prepared to make, in order to pursue the common interest (professional, cultural, ethical, etc.). Each action of AICPE will be based on the maximum correctness and transparency and each decision must always be taken democratically, taking into consideration the Members’ opinions, which can now be easily found online. Elections will be transparent and “apolitical”: whoever has time to dedicate to the common good will be able to apply and, if elected, should be prepared to work hard without receiving any privileges in return.
Standing, left to right: Gianfranco Bernabei, Mauro D'Arcangelo, Felice Cardone, Gianluca Campiglio, Alessandro Casadei, Claudio Bernardi, Francesco Bellezza, Alvaro Pacifici.
Sitting, left to right: Pierfrancesco Cirillo, Andrea Paci, Giovanni Botti, Mario Pelle Ceravolo, Flavio Saccomanno, Luca Piovano, Eugenio Gandolfi