Britons turning to plastic surgery in bid to combat ageing

The body which represents a large portion of the UK’s plastic surgeons has released figures for the number of procedures which were carried out in 2012. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) there were well over 43,000 procedures in 2012, 91% of which were performed on women. Whilst this figure is very high, it pales in comparison with the US, where 14 million such procedures were carried out in 2011.

It appears that the recession has not put people off splashing out on cosmetic surgery with the numbers for plastic surgery procedures showing a steady increase in recent years. Furthermore, the recent PIP implant scandal and the government review which was subsequently launched has not created the fear about breast implant surgery that one might expect.

Brits appear to have caught plastic surgery fever with the figures for 2012 showing a 0.2% increase on the 2011 stats. It appears that the desire to combat the ageing process overrides concerns about the cost of procedures in difficult economic times. However, it is of course likely that many of those who seek plastic surgery are wealthy enough not to be greatly affected by the downturn. Whilst the figures for plastic surgery did not increase by a huge amount, the figures for anti-ageing procedures showed a marked increase with the percentage increases for face lifts and eyelid procedures for example going into double figures.

The most popular cosmetic procedure by far is still breast enlargement surgery though. Although there was a slight drop of just over 1.5% in the number of procedures from 2011-2012, these procedures remained incredibly popular. It is unclear whether or not this slight drop can be attributed to the recent PIP implant scandal but either way the effect of the scandal appears to have been quite limited judging by the BAAPS statistics.

The procedure which saw the largest increase in 2012 was brow lift surgery which went up by a huge 17% in 12 months demonstrating once again that anti-ageing procedures are all the rage. Similarly, face and neck lifts went up by nearly 13.5% and eyelid surgery was up by 13%.

Another interesting statistic relates to weight loss surgery. In the past, liposuction was always the weight loss surgery of choice, however, 2012 statistics show that it has been overtaken by a procedure referred to as ‘fat transfer’ which is now the 7th most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK. This surgery moves fat from one area of the body such as the midriff or hips to another part such as the buttocks or face.

Men only accounted for just around 9% of the total number of cosmetic surgery procedures for 2012. Amongst males, nose jobs were the most popular cosmetic procedure despite falling by nearly 10% on the 2011 statistics. Women by contrast accounted for 91% of procedures, around 39,000 in total and tended to opt for procedures designed to make them look younger.

The figures are likely to concern those who are still not concerned about the possible physical and emotional damage that plastic surgery can do to people and given the recent scandal over the French PIP implants, the concerns over breast augmentation surgery in particular have never been greater. Nevertheless, it appears that Britain’s obsession with plastic surgery is set to continue for many years to come.

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