Demand for plastic surgery in the UK is on a dramatic increase according to figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
The boom marks “the most impressive rise in demand” since the start of the recession in 2008, with the number of nose jobs, face lifts, and breast implant operations soaring by more than 10% in 2013 alone.
The biggest boom by far was in popularity for the liposuction procedure, which has risen by 41%, while breast augmentations continue to be the most commonly performed plastic surgery in the UK.
Eyelid surgery, face and neck lifts, breast reductions and nose jobs were also among the top ten procedures carried out in 2013, and all showed a significant increase in demand.
In total, 2013 saw 50,122 cosmetic procedures – a rise of 17% on the previous year – and while this growing demand is good news for the British economy, it also suggests the dark period of scandal that overshadowed the cosmetic industry in recent years is no longer a concern among the British public.
The PIP implant scare among other controversies has affected the reputation of the cosmetic surgery industry, and health ministers have famously branded it a “cowboy industry” steeped in “murky waters”.
Fresh efforts have recently been put in place to regulate some aspects of the industry, including advertising and registers set up to document the details of every breast implant operation in England.
BAAPS President Rajiv Grover – who emphasises that there are “risks as well as benefits” to cosmetic surgery – explains:
“The continued double-digit rise of cosmetic surgery underlines the fact that whether it is breast augmentation or anti-ageing procedures like face-lifting, the public are choosing tried-and-tested surgical methods rather than the magical-sounding quick fixes that fail to deliver promised results.”
In 2005, the cosmetic surgery industry was worth £750m in the UK, £2.3bn by 2010 and is forecast to reach £3.6bn by 2015.