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Britons Tighten Belts (in more ways than one)

Male tummy tucks up 15% - Not one procedure decreases in demand in 2011

London, UK – 30 January 2012 – The economy may be shrinking but so are waistlines around the UK, in particular male ones. In spite of a climate of financial austerity and a burgeoning breast implant scandal over the last year, Britons have clearly not lost faith in the benefits of cosmetic surgery. Audit figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( today reveal that the number of procedures continued to increase steadily by nearly 6% increase on average (similar rise to 2009 and 2010) and rather unusually, not even one individual procedure decreased in popularity.

The number of surgical procedures in 2011 showed a rise of 5.8% from 2010 to a total of 43,069 and their order of popularity remained entirely unchanged. The most impressive stats have been recorded specifically in male tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), which showed an increase of 15%.

For the first time, the audit included fat transfer procedures (where fat is taken from one part of the body and injected elsewhere – mainly into the face to restore volume).


  • 43,069 surgical procedures were carried out by BAAPS members in 2011, a 5.8% increase from 2010, when 38,274 were performed
  • Women had 38,771 procedures, up from 34,413 (a respectable increase of 5.8%) in line with demand for male surgery remained which increased by 5.6% rise overall (to 4,298 from 4,017 last year)
  • Male surgery continues to account for 10% of all cosmetic surgery procedures
  • Breast augmentation (‘boob jobs’) maintained a slow but constant growth of 6.2% from 9,418 to 10,003 in 2011 – continuing to hold its place as the commonest procedure of all, its numbers nearly twice as high as the next most popular surgery
  • ‘Man boob’ ops or Gynaecomastia kept its place as the 2nd most common procedure for men, rising by 7% from 741 to 790. Male liposuction also went up by 8% to 511 from 473 in 2010
  • Tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) proved popular with both sexes, with a rise of 7% from 3,039 to 3,251 in women but a whopping 15% increase in male demand (108 to 124).
  • Fat transfer procedures went up 5% for both sexes, ranking 8th in popularity for women and 6th for men, from 2,430 to 2,551 combined.

According to Fazel Fatah, consultant plastic surgeon and President of the BAAPS;

“It is understandable that procedures for the more noticeable areas of the face and body – such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and eyelid surgery – continue to prove popular when patients are looking to get the most ‘impact’ from their surgery to enhance their mental well being and self-confidence. It is also not surprising to note a considerable rise in treatments such as tummy tucks and liposuction when there has been an increase in people undergoing obesity treatment such as gastric bands. These patients are usually left with a lot of loose skin that causes physical problems and unsightly body contour which can only be addressed by surgery.”

According to Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Elect with responsibility for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery;

“The continued popularity of aesthetic plastic surgery even through financially difficult times demonstrates that the public sees real value in the psychological and physical improvement that can be achieved. Advances in techniques have also meant it’s harder to ‘tell’ if someone has undergone a procedure - they may just look well-rested, or refreshed! Whether because of the recent implant scare or a backlash against some ‘lunchtime’ non-surgical treatments that don’t deliver what they promise, it is reassuring that patients are doing their homework, evaluating criteria other than just price, and choosing BAAPS surgeons.”

The Figures in full

Men & Women Combined

The top surgical procedures for men & women for 2011 (total 43,069 an increase of 5.8%)

In order of popularity (the ranking showed no changes from last year in the order of procedures):

  • Breast augmentation: 10,015 – up 6.2% from last year
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 6,057 – up 4.8%
  • Breast Reduction: 5,291 – up 6.7%
  • Face/Neck Lift: 4,968 – up 4.5%
  • Rhinoplasty: 4,518 – up 7.4%
  • Liposuction: 3,581 – up 6.3%
  • Abdominoplasty: 3,375 – up 7.2%
  • Fat Transfer: 2,551 – up 5.0%
  • Browlift: 1,543 – up 2.0%
  • Otoplasty (ear correction): 1,170 - up 5.0%

Women Only

The top surgical procedures for women in 2011 (38,771 total. An increase of 5.8% on 2010)

Women had 90% of all cosmetic procedures in 2011, the same percentage of total procedures as in 2010

2011 figures for women in order of popularity:

  • Breast augmentation: 10,003 – up 6.2% from last year
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 5,373 – up 4.8%
  • Face/Neck Lift: 4,700 – up 4.7%
  • Breast Reduction: 4,501 – up 6.7%
  • Rhinoplasty: 3,475 – up 5.0%
  • Abdominoplasty: 3,251 – up 7.0%
  • Liposuction: 3,070 – up 6.0%
  • Fat Transfer: 2,331 – up 5.0%
  • Brow lifts: 1,418 – up 4.0%
  • Otoplasty (ear correction): 649 – up 5.0%

Men Only

The top surgical procedures for men in 2011 (4,298 total. An increase of 5.6% on 2010)

Men had 10% of all cosmetic procedures in 2011, the same percentage of total procedures as in 2010

2011 figures for men in order of popularity:

  • Rhinoplasty: 1,043 – up 5.0% from last year
  • Breast Reduction: 790 – up 7.0%
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 684 – up 5.0%
  • Otoplasty (ear correction): 521 – up 5.0%
  • Liposuction: 511 – up 8.0%
  • Face/Neck Lift: 268 – up 2.0%
  • Fat Transfer 220 – up 5.0%
  • Brow lifts 125 – up 2.0%
  • Abdominoplasty: 124 – up 15.0%
  • Breast augmentation: 12 – Static


About the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
The BAAPS ( ), based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:     and Facebook:

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