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Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Soar in Britain

Special Reports

A record number of over 51,000 Britons underwent cosmetic surgery in 2015, demonstrating the public's love affair with surgical enhancement is far from over, despite any previous ‘blips’ as the economy reshaped itself.

New data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk); the only organisation solely dedicated to safety and education in cosmetic surgery, and which represents the vast majority of NHS-trained consultant plastic surgeons in private practice; revealed that the number of cosmetic ops last year grew 13% overall since 2014 - with ALL procedures seeing an increase in demand.

Surgeons say that with the new trend in A-list celebrities (such as Sharon Stone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kelly Rowland, Jane Fonda and even Modern Family’s young starlet Ariel Winter) openly confessing to the odd nip or tuck, it’s possible that patients are feeling encouraged by their positive admissions and attractive results. These new attitudes could be one of the drivers for increased acceptance and de-stigmatising of aesthetic enhancement, 7 out of 10 of the most popular procedures seeing a double-digit increase.

Women's cosmetic surgery rose 12.5% from 2014, and while breast augmentation continues to remain the most popular procedure for women (up 12% from 2014), reportedly the oversized ‘glamour model’ or artificial look once associated with implants has all but vanished, as surgeons note patients now opting for smaller sizes for a more natural, proportionate enhancement.

The Association also posts the theory that some of the most dramatic rises - face/neck lifts (up 16%) and liposuction (up 20%) - could be linked to the fact that despite the vast array of non-surgical treatments hyped for these areas in recent years, the public are realising they have limited effect when compared to traditional surgery.

Men, as well, underwent substantially more facial procedures, with face/necklifts climbing 14%, brow lifts (+15.5%), eyelid surgery(+15%) and rhinoplasty (+14%) all gaining huge popularity. Surgeons suggest that possibly, this may be nudged by the decline of last year’s bushy-bearded ‘hypermasculine’ (or ‘lumbersexual’) aesthetic common amongst hipsters. The trends could indicate that as men ditched the facial hair and oversized checked shirts they may have
uncovered previously-hidden double chins or ‘dad bod’ bellies, fuelling an epic rise of 20% in male liposuction and a 13% jump in ‘man boob’ reductions.

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

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