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Cosmetic Surgery On The Rise In The UK



In times of recession, it’s difficult to predict which industries will be the first to show signs of life moving into the recovery period. Somewhat surprising is the news that cosmetic surgery rates are on the up. From fat removal to breast augmentation, people all over the UK are splashing out on sprucing up their appearance.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has recently released data to show the trend. The figures show an overall increase of 6% over last year, with particular increases notable in abdominoplasty and male surgery. The figures are promising for the industry of cosmetic surgery, which recognized an uncertain future just one year ago.

The number of males receiving cosmetic surgery rose by 5.6%. Despite the rise, men continue to be a significant minority in the world of cosmetic surgery, with just one in ten procedures reported to involve male patients.

One of the most notable shifts in the industry is the decrease in liposuction numbers. The current president of BAAPS and consultant plastic surgeon, Rajiv Grover, gave a few words to highlight what the data points to:

“Interestingly, for the first time, we see a greater number of women having procedures to re-insert fat – known as fat transfer, to add volume to the face – than to remove it, in the form of liposuction.”

Last year’s figures for liposuction actually show a fall in popularity of a whopping 14%. A rise of 13% in fat transferral operations saw the procedure overtake liposuction in popularity. The number of fat transferral procedures totaled over 2,500 in the UK alone, being used increasingly as a means to fill out the faces of aging patients.

It may come as no surprise to learn that the UK’s most popular form of cosmetic surgery is breast augmentation. BAAPS listed just over 40,000 procedures taking place in the UK last year. Upwards of 10,000 of these were breast augmentations.

Recent scandals involving breast implants were expected to shake public confidence in the procedure. Key members of BAAPS indicated at the beginning of last year that they expected numbers to decrease. However, the figures from BAAPS show absolutely no sign of the procedure losing any popularity over the past year.

Rajiv Grover also commented on the trend of cosmetic surgery rises flowing against that of the wider economy:

“The growth rates for surgical facelifting and other anti-aging procedures showed a double-digit rise, despite a double-dip recession.”

The number of anti-aging procedures is expected to continue its upward trend as the UK sees an aging population as health care across the board improves.

The figures coming from BAAPS corroborate the recent success of private hospitals across the UK. With the NHS having an uncertain future and major re-organization shaking public confidence in the institution, those who can afford it have made the shift to the private sector when looking for health care. Indeed, the government’s restructuring of the NHS has also had a knock-on effect for employment, sending an increasing number of health care professionals towards the private sector as a result of both dissatisfaction and redundancy.