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Cosmetic Surgery Trends In The UK



Despite the on-going recession, cosmetic surgery has been on the increase in the UK. Breast augmentations are by far still the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure amongst women. The shrinking UK economy seems to be sending men’s waistlines shrinking along with them.

A record number of tummy tuck operations for men have also been witnessed with the rise in demand for this type of surgery. In fact, even the breast implant scandal during the last year has failed to shake the faith of Britons in the benefits of cosmetic surgery.

Popular Procedures

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPs), abdominoplasty operations have grown by 15%, with overall cosmetic surgery for men growing by 5.6%. BAAPs represent one in every three plastic surgeons in the UK. In 2011, 43,069 procedures were carried out by members of BAAPs for both men and women, in comparison to 38,274 done in 2010. This showed an increase of 5.8%, with women accounting for 38,771 of these procedures.

This audit also included fat transfers – procedures during which fat is taken from one part of the body and injected into another part – mainly the face, in order to restore its volume. In both sexes, fat transfer procedures rose by 5%, ranking 6th in popularity for men and 8th for women. A rather unusual observation on the cosmetic surgery trends in the UK is the fact that not even a single individual procedure has lost popularity over the last year.

Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures For Women

In 2011, women in the UK accounted for 90% of all cosmetic procedures carried out. The top procedures were:

Breast augmentation – up 6.2% from 2010, slightly less than the 10% rise we saw form 2009-2010
• Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) rose by 4.8% becoming the second most popular procedure for women
• Face/Neck Lifts came in at third place for the second year running, with 4,700 procedures

Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures for Men

In 2011, men accounted for 10% of all cosmetic surgery procedures with the biggest operations including:

• ‘Man boob’ operations or Gynaecomastia – retaining its place as the second most popular male procedure, having risen by 7% to 790 procedures being performed during 2011 from 741 in 2010
• Male liposuction rose by 8%
• Rhinoplasty or nose jobs went up by 5%, a reduction from last year’s 13.2%
• Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) – rose up 5% to 684procedures being performed in 2011


The conclusion is that British cosmetic surgery patients, who are looking to gain the most impact from their surgery, tend to opt for procedures that focus on certain areas of the body and face, such as breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and Rhinoplasty.

There has also been a considerable increase in procedures such as liposuction and tummy tucks due to the parallel increase in individuals going under the knife for obesity treatments such as gastric bands.

These procedures are normally carried out on patients who are left with a lot of loose skin which causes unsightly body contour and other physical problems that can be addressed only by surgery. The continued popularity of cosmetic surgery even during this period of financial problems is a testament to the fact that the British public still places real value in the physical improvement that these procedures offer.

With private hospitals offering cosmetic surgery across the UK, these procedures have never been more available. For more information on the procedures available, why not book a consultation at a private hospital in your local area?

Any information in this article should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or relevant health professional.

All statistics that are found in this article has been referenced from the information provided by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPs)