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Cosmetic Surgery Trends: Reduction in overall numbers as industry associations campaign for education and tighter regulation

London, 8 March 2020. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS); the only organisation solely dedicated to advancing safety, innovation and excellence in cosmetic surgery; has released its annual audit. According to the new figures, nearly 27,000 procedures took place in 2019, a decrease of 7.5% from the previous year.

As with past years, women underwent 92% of all cosmetic procedures recorded in 2019. The three most popular procedures for women were breast augmentation (down 11%), breast reduction (down 2%) and abdominoplasty also known as the tummy tuck (up 7%).

Former BAAPS President Rajiv Grover, who compiles the audit on an annual basis, commented: “The 2019 BAAPS audit is very positive from our point of view as  it shows that whilst the overall  number of procedures  has dropped, the work we’ve been doing to educate about the life-changing implications of cosmetic surgery and the need to reflect carefully before taking this route is working. We’re seeing greater emphasis from surgeons on psychological assessment, as mental health awareness has taken centre stage both politically and in the news agenda which is so important when putting patient’s interests first.”

Grover continues “In previous years we’ve seen popular culture heavily influence the type of procedures that are most in-demand. Reality TV, and social media in particular, are powerful influences, but are a double-edged sword when it comes to Aesthetic Surgery. As patients strive for the ‘filter perfect’ look that is plastered all over our smartphones and TVs, many turn to surgery for a ‘quick fix’ - which is a concerning theme that we’ve noticed. BAAPS members have seen a rise in patients seeking inappropriate cosmetic treatments and we have been advising more patients against surgery than ever before.”  

Male cosmetic surgery accounted for 8% of the 2019 total. The Lower Body Lift proved to be more popular with men than it was last year, with 88% more men opting to undertake the procedure than last year. Overall, the audit revealed that male cosmetic surgery dipped by 9.2% compared to the previous year.  

This may in part be tracked back to the growing awareness of mental health issues. Particularly men’s mental health which has gained momentum in the past 12 months, with major public figures like Prince William and Prince Harry promoting campaigns to remove associated stigmas and urge a more open dialogue.

Grover concludes “There is evidence that suggests people who struggle with their psychological health can feel pressured to turn to ‘quick fix’ procedures to improve their appearance. A thorough assessment of the psychological welfare of patients before they commit to surgery is crucial. We’ve recently introduced a BAAPS’s psychology course to guide surgeons through these sensitive conversations and to underline the need, whenever necessary, to advise against having surgery.”

According to BAAPS President and consultant plastic surgeon Paul Harris, the small dip in cosmetic surgery procedures could also be linked to the general decrease in consumer spending. 

Harris comments “Economic uncertainty and decrease in overall consumer spending could be contributing factors to the dip in the number of procedures, as shown by the BAAPS data. Year on year the cosmetic surgery industry continues to bloom, and we’re noticing that our patient’s confidence in their decision making is stronger”

Harris concluded: “Undergoing a cosmetic procedure is never a decision to take lightly – that’s why the BAAPS always advocates that any procedure should be preceded by a robust assessment of the patient’s physical and psychological wellbeing, something all BAAPS surgeons do as standard.”

The BAAPS is the only surgical association to mandate of its members that they collect such data and is the only source of reliable data available in a completely unregulated market.


For more information on The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, please visit

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


BAAPS Audit Results 2020 - the figures in full

The top surgical procedures for men & women in 2019 (total 26,977. A fall of 7.5% from 2018)

In order of popularity:

  • Breast augmentation:                       6,900 – down 11% from last year
  • Breast Reduction:                             4,245 – down 1%                
  • Abdominoplasty:                               3,064 – up 5%          (Increased to 3rd place in 2019 from 4th place in 2018)           
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery):       2,539 – down 19%   (Dropped to 4th place in 2019 from 3rd place in 2018)
  • Rhinoplasty:                                      2,432 – down 14%              
  • Liposuction:                                       2,394 – down 5%    
  • Face/Neck Lift:                                  2,038 – down 4%    
  • Fat Transfer:                                      1,351 – down 5%                
  • Otoplasty (ear correction):                   885 – down 6%               
  • Brachioplasty:                                      395 – down 5%   
  • Browlift:                                                334 – down 13%
  • Thigh Lift:                                              230 – down 6%   
  • Lower Body Lift                                     170 – up 22%      


The top surgical procedures for women in 2019 (24,851 totals A fall of 7% from 2018)

Women had 92% of all cosmetic procedures in 2019.

In order of popularity:

  • Breast augmentation:                       6,888 – down 11% from last year
  • Breast Reduction:                             3,949 – down 2%    
  • Abdominoplasty:                               2,921 – up 7%                      (Increased to 3rd place in 2019 from 4th place in 2018)                          
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery):     2,261 – down 20%               (Dropped to 4th place in 2019 from 3rd place in 2018)   
  • Liposuction:                                     2,135 – down 7%                 
  • Rhinoplasty:                                    1,929 – down 15%              
  • Face/Neck Lift:                                1,922 – down 4%    
  • Fat Transfer:                                    1,280 – down 4%                
  • Otoplasty (ear correction):                  536 – up 1%
  • Brachioplasty:                                     390 – down 5%   
  • Browlift:                                               294 – down 10%
  • Thigh Lift:                                            225 – down 5%   
  • Lower Body Lift                                   121 – up 7%        


The top surgical procedures for men in 2019 (2,126 total. A fall of 9.2% from 2018)

Men had 8% of all cosmetic procedures in 2019.

In order of popularity:

  • Rhinoplasty:                                       503 – down 12% from last year              
  • Otoplasty (ear correction):                 349 – down 15%
  • Breast Reduction:                              296 – up 4%          
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery):        278 – down 16%   
  • Liposuction:                                       259 – up 11%        
  • Abdominoplasty:                                143 – down 20%   
  • Face/Neck Lift:                                   116 – down 4%     
  • Fat Transfer                                         71 – down 27%   
  • Lower Body Lift                                    49 – up 88%
  • Brow lifts                                              40 – down 27%   
  • Breast augmentation:                           12 – Static
  • Brachioplasty:                                       5 – Static
  • Thigh Lift:                                              5 – Static





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