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Over 36,400 Surgical Procedures in the UK in 2009

Despite Recession 36,482 Aesthetic Surgery Procedures Took Place in the UK

London, UK - 1 February 2009 - The economy may have been sagging but the nation still found ways to remain uplifted during 2009, according to the latest audit figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. The number of surgical procedures last year exceeded 36,400 –a slow but steady rise of 6.7% from 2008, despite the financial downturn. The most impressive stats have been recorded specifically in male surgery, the demand for which has grown by 21% overall, with the number of gynaecomastia (or ‘man-boob’) ops alone having shot up by 80%.


36,482 surgical procedures were carried out by BAAPS members in 2009, a 6.7% increase from 2008, when 34,187 were performed

Women had 32,859 procedures in 2009, up from 31,183 (a modest increase of over 5%) but interest in male surgery far outstripped them with a 21% rise overall (from 3,004 last year to 3,623)

The number of male breast reduction or gynaecomastia ops (‘man boobs’) nearly doubled from 323 to 581, a staggering 80% increase and moving from 5th most popular procedure for men to 3rd

Breast reduction surgery proved popular among women as well, rising by 17% from 3522 to 4122

Male brow lifts rose quite considerably (up 51%), from 72 to 109, as well as male facelifts which went up by nearly a quarter (23%) and male tummy tucks (up 20%)

Rhinoplasty (or ‘nose jobs’) proved very popular with both sexes, increasing by 25% overall, thus rising from 7th most popular procedure to 5th

Although facelifts actually fell in demand by 8% among women, the steadfast rise in brow lifts, eyelid surgery and nose jobs suggests patients may have sought cheaper and more targeted rejuvenation procedures

Breast augmentation remains the most popular procedure with 8,565 performed this year (up just 1% from 2008) 

According to Mr. Nigel Mercer, consultant plastic surgeon and President of the BAAPS;

“The public’s interest in aesthetic surgery appears to remain strong and indeed growing quite considerably among UK males, despite the economic downturn.  Wide media coverage has clearly helped to educate both men and women about the latest advances and choices available as well as the potential risks of these treatments. It’s encouraging that more people are choosing surgeons with excellent training and credentials from the BAAPS website. In the current climate it is even more important that patients seeking cosmetic surgical procedures do not make decisions based solely on price.”

The figures in full:

MEN & WOMEN (combined) in order of popularity:

Total: 36,482 -an increase of 6.7%

2009 figures in order of popularity:

Breast augmentation:                    8,565 – up 1% from last year

Blepharoplasty (eyelid ops):       5,443 – up 6%

Breast Reduction:                            4,703 – up 22%                  (Up from 4th to 3rd place)

Face/Neck Lift:                                  4,241 – down 7%              (Dropped from 3rd to 4th place)

Rhinoplasty:                                       3,836 – up 25%                  (Up from 7th to 5th place)

Liposuction:                                        3,509 – up 8%                   

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): 3,403 – down 6%              (Dropped from 5th to 7th place)

Browlift:                                               1,433 – up 43%                  (Up from 9th to 8th place)

Otoplasty (ear correction):          1,349 – up 7%                    (Dropped from 8th to 9th place)


Total: 32,859 - an increase of 5.4% on 2008

Women had 90% of all cosmetic procedures in 2009 compared to 91% of procedures in 2008

Top five 2009 figures for women in order of popularity:

Breast augmentation:                    8,537 – up 1% from last year

Blepharoplasty (eyelids):              4,827 – up 7%

Breast Reduction:                            4,122 – up 17%                  (Up from 5th to 3rd place)

Face/Neck Lift:                                  4,005 – down 8%              (Dropped from 3rd to 4th)

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): 3,268 – down 7%              (Dropped from 4th to 5th place) 


Total: 3,623 - an increase of 21% on 2008

Men accounted for 10% of all cosmetic procedures in 2009 compared with 9% in 2008

Top five 2009 figures for men in order of popularity:

Rhinoplasty:                                       877 – up 26%

Blepharoplasty (eyelids):              616 – up 1%                       

Breast Reduction:                            581 – up 80%                      (Up from 5th to 3rd place)

Otoplasty (ear correction):          542 – up 7%                        (Down from 3rd to 4th

Liposuction:                                        499 – up 4%                        (Down from 4th to 5th in 2009)

According to Mr. Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS Secretary responsible for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery;

“This year we have recorded a dramatic rise in a number of male surgical procedures, probably due to heightened media attention, which has allowed men to realise the positive outcomes that can be achieved. The continued popularity of brow lifts and eyelid surgery may mean that patients still keen to have rejuvenating treatments despite the recession, are choosing more cost-effective measures such as targeting one particular feature, rather than having a whole facelift.”

According to consultant plastic surgeon and past President of BAAPS Douglas McGeorge;

 “Those considering an aesthetic surgery should always be aware that no procedure is without risk.  When performed under the right circumstances, cosmetic surgery can have a positive psychological impact and improve quality of life.”

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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