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Cosmetic Surgery Statistics for the U.K.


In a 2005 survey (currently the most recent available) it was found that cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever. Moreover it is no longer just for the rich and famous and more and more everyday people are opting for plastic surgery to improve their looks and hopefully their lives.

Men are more accepting of the new industry too and from representing only 8% in 2004 men now account for 11% of the total procedures.

Women had 19,601 procedures in 2005 which was up from 15,019 on the previous year.

The top procedure for women was breast augmentation with 5,646 procedures being carried out which is a 51% rise on 2004.

Rhinoplasty (nose jobs) continues to be the top procedure for men and anti-ageing procedures such as facelifts, eyelid surgery and brow lifts showed a huge rise in popularity in the last year, increasing by 42.1%, 50.2% and 34.8%, respectively.

While the majority of cosmetic surgery continues to be carried out on women, the number of men having aesthetic procedures rose from 1,348 in 2004 to 2,440.

Below are the top ten surgical procedures carried out on men & women in 2005 in order of popularity:

1) Breast augmentation - up 51.4% from 2004

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to cosmetically enhance the size and shape of a woman's breast or breasts using implants. It might be performed for a number of reasons varying from patient to patient with some being cosmetic and some medical.

The breast implants used are either a silicone rubber shell filled with either medical grade silicone gel or a salt-water solution known as saline.

2) Blepharoplasty - up 50.2%

Blepharoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures and is an eyelid procedure to remove fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can lift drooping upper lids and reduce the puffy eye bags that form under your eyes. This procedure can be done alone or in conjunction with other plastic facial surgery procedures such as a facelift.

3) Face and/or Neck Lift - up 42.1%

A facelift which is technically known as a rhytidectomy (surgical removal of wrinkles) can reduce some of the more visible signs of ageing. It smoothes the loose skin on your face and neck and tightens the underlying tissue. As a result of the procedure your face will appear firmer and fresher thereby making you appear younger.

4) Rhinoplasty - up 34.7%

Rhinoplasty, is a surgery to reshape the nose and is one of the most common of all plastic surgery procedures. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the width of the nostrils or change the angle between your nose and your upper lip. It is a reshaping of the cartilage, bone and sometimes the soft tissues of the nose.

5) Brow lifts - up 34.8%

This procedure involves a subtle lifting of the skin of the forehead which is often combined with some removal of the underlying muscle and tissue in order to give a more youthful appearance to the upper part of the face. The surgery can correct a drooping of the eyebrows, loose skin and also give some improvement to the facial lines.

6) Liposuction (major) - up 24.9%

Liposuction is a fat removal procedure that aims to eradicate excessive stubborn fat deposits which cannot be easily removed by diet or exercise and which usually occur in areas such as the chin, chest, stomach, sides, back and the thighs. It should perhaps be thought of as a sculpting procedure that can change the contours of your body or face.

7) Otoplasty - up 28.1%

Protruding ears can be a source of embarrassment for both children and adults alike and Otoplasty is an ear reshaping surgery that is very straightforward. Most patients are children aged between four and fourteen although it is commonly performed on adults as well.

8) Abdominoplasty - up 24.4%

A 'Tummy Tuck' is a procedure that removes excess fat and skin from around the waist and produces a flatter, lower body profile and younger-looking abdomen.

9) Liposuction (minor) - up 9.6%

Minor liposuction might be considered as a minor 'touch up' rather than the full procedure as described in number six above.

3) Breast Reduction - up 9.3%

Over large breasts can dominate a woman's appearance and make her look unbalanced as well as making exercise difficult or even impossible to do. Breast reduction surgery is a procedure for reshaping exceptionally large breasts surgically thereby making them smaller and more manageable. Overly large breasts commonly have a considerable affect on self confidence and can even affect personal relationships.

To Summarize

Women had 89% of all cosmetic procedures which numbered 19,601 compared with 15,019 in 2004. The top five surgical procedures for women in 2004 were, breast augmentation, blepharoplasty, breast reduction, face/neck lift, and rhinoplasty.

Men had 2,440 cosmetic procedures compared to 1,092 in 2004. The top five surgical procedures for men in 2005 were: rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, otoplasty, liposuction, and face/neck lift.