A Brief Introduction to Cosmetic Surgery in the UK

The demand for cosmetic surgery has grown in the UK (as in the US and the rest of the world) over the last few years. This trend has been fuelled by the stars and the celebrities of the world.

The cosmetic surgery market in the UK has grown at a rapid pace over the past 5 years and includes both non-surgical and surgical procedures.

At the end of 2007, it was worth £493m and showed an annual growth rate of 69% since 2003.

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the actual number of  UK consumers for cosmetic surgery is quite small compared to the US Market. In fact, the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery is less than 0.05% of the total British population.

One of the reasons cosmetic surgical procedures have not been widely accepted in the UK may be because they are not easily affordable for every consumer. But in the last few years, due to rising disposable incomes amongst young men and women, procedures like liposuction and breast augmentation have seen rapid growth.

One of the major drivers of this market is the technological advancement of less-invasive techniques, especially in the field of facial surgery. This has encouraged many older people who are opting for eyelid surgery and face lifts.

Another important factor that has led to the growth of the cosmetic surgery market in the UK is the expansion and availability of various non-surgical procedures thanks to state-of-the-art technology.

One of the recent examples is the dermal filler treatments whose effectiveness and non-surgical nature is encouraging more women to try different types of facial treatments.

Apart from this, there have also been advancements in laser technology, another form of non-surgical procedures. Here are some facts and statistics given out by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) for 2007:

  • In 2007, BAAPS members carried out almost 32,453 surgical procedures, which is a jump of 12.2% since 2006 which saw 28,921 surgical procedures.
  • Women topped the cosmetic surgery procedures list with 91% while men lagged behind with only 17.5% opting for cosmetic surgery procedures.
  • 29,572 procedures were carried out on women in 2007 vis-à-vis 26,469 in 2006.
  • Most popular cosmetic surgery procedure was facelift and showed a rise of 36% in 2007 as against 2006. In total 4,468 procedures were for facelift.
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