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Demand for cosmetic surgery rises 13 per cent

Face/neck lifts and liposuction top league table; latter particularly popular in men

Caroline White

Monday, 08 February 2016

Demand for cosmetic surgery rose 13% last year, with face and neck lifts and liposuction topping the league table of the most popular procedures, the latest audit from the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic (BAAPS) surgeons reveals.

In all, a record number of over 51,000 Britons underwent surgery to enhance their look in 2015. Seven out of 10 of the most popular procedures recorded a double-digit increase.

Women's cosmetic surgery rose 12.5% from 2014, with breast augmentation still the most popular procedure—up 12% from 2014. 

But some of the sharpest rises were for face and neck lift—up 16%—and liposuction—up 20%, with the latter one of the most popular procedures for men.

Men underwent substantially more facial procedures, with face/neck lifts climbing 14%, brow lifts and eyelid surgery up by 15%, and rhinoplasty up by 14%. Rates of liposuction among men rose by 20%, while breast reductions rose by 13%. 

Although men still account for just 9% of the total number of cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, their numbers have nearly doubled over the past decade, from 2,440 procedures in 2005 to 4,614 in 2015.  

“The 2015 BAAPS audit has shown that demand for cosmetic surgery continues to increase following the quieter period in 2014 which mirrored the British economy,” comments consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Rajiv Grover, who collated the audit data.

He added that the audit showed that people were opting for tried and trusted methods rather than the “here today and gone tomorrow” non-invasive methods.

“Perhaps the decline of the ‘hyper-masculine’ look fashionable last year, which has given way to a sharper, more slimline shape has influenced men – and it certainly appears both genders seem encouraged by a new openness in glamorous celebrities admitting they have had ‘a little surgical help’ to enhance their looks,” he suggested.

But he warned: "There is a danger, however, that this presents the image of cosmetic surgery as a commodity, so the public must always be warned that an operation is not something that can simply be returned to the shop if you don’t like it.”

Consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Michael Cadier added: “What is most important is for patients to remember that surgery is on the whole life-changing and irreversible – far from a trivial ‘status symbol’ beauty treatment. The decision to undergo surgery must be well thought-out, with managed expectations, understanding the risks through fully informed consent and, most importantly, choosing the right specialist provider who is properly trained and accredited.”     

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