UK Breast Implant Data 2016
In February this year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk); an organisation that is solely dedicated to safety and education in cosmetic surgery, and which represents the vast majority of NHS-trained consultant plastic surgeons in private practice in the UK; published its annual audit for the year 2016. The report revealed that the number of cosmetic ops last year (2016) dropped 40% since reaching record-breaking heights in 2015.
The report showed that for the first time in almost a decade of relatively consistent growth, cosmetic surgical procedures in the United Kingdom totals for women and men combined dipped below 31,000 – with 2016’s totals 5% less than those in 2007. Male procedure numbers were fewer than in 2005 (2,440 in 2005 > 2,409 in 2016), but while men’s ops were 48% less than the previous year, they still accounted for the same proportion of all patients, roughly 1% of the total number, as they have done historically. This changed has been associated with the current political, social and economic dynamics in the UK at present. According to consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Rajiv Grover, who compiles the audit on an annual basis;
Former BAAPS President Rajiv Grove Quotes
“In a climate of global fragility, the public are less likely to spend on significant alterations and become more fiscally conservative, by and large opting for less costly non-surgical procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion, rather than committing to more permanent changes.
“The background of negative news and economic uncertainty seems to have reinvigorated the famous British ‘stiff upper lip’ –achieved, however, through dermal fillers and wrinkle-relaxing injections, rather than surgery!
“Indeed, some procedures which have no real non-surgical equivalent such as abdominoplasty and otoplasty (pinning back prominent ears) are some of the few which changed little, with demand for tummy tucks actually recording an impressive rise amongst men.
“It is worth however to remember that the non-surgical sector is rife with lax regulation, maverick behaviour and unethical promotional gimmicks, so the public must remain vigilant. Non-surgical does not, and never has, meant non-medical.”
The decline in cosmetic operations could be more than just a reaction to the economic, political and social climate in the UK. It is true that the current uncertainty in the UK has led to spending consciousness. However, we should also consider conscious consumerism. Over the years, consumer decision making and spending patterns have changed significantly. This is due to many factors including those mentioned above, and technology.
Abdominoplasty surgery remained popular for both genders, increasing to 6th place in 2016 from 8th place in 2015. Despite nearly 50% fewer men undergoing surgery than in 2015, the Association saw a 47% increase in male abdominoplasty surgery – possibly attributed to the fact that there is no adequate non-surgical option for the removal of excess skin, and with Britons’ shedding weight either through diet, exercise or bariatric surgery, the numbers show that men are still keen to jettison the spare tyre, surgically.
Women’s cosmetic surgery dropped 39% from 2015, and while breast augmentation continues to remain the most popular procedure for females, with almost 8,000 (7,732) undergoing surgery, overall numbers sagged by 20%. Many surgeons also report that the oversized styles of the past have made way for smaller sizes, resulting in more natural enhancement.
The Figures in full:
Men & Women Combined
The top surgical procedures for men & women in 2016 (total 30,750. A fall of 39.9% from 2015)
In order of popularity:
- Breast augmentation: 7,769 – down 20% from last year
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 3,905 – down 38%
- Breast Reduction: 3,886 – down 38%
- Face/Neck Lift: 3,453 – down 53%
- Liposuction: 3,218 – down 42%
- Abdominoplasty: 2,763 – down 6%
- Rhinoplasty: 2,703 – down 14%
- Fat Transfer: 1,459 – down 56%
- Otoplasty (ear correction): 987 – down 9%
- Browlift: 607 – down 71%
The top surgical procedures for women in 2016 (28,341 total. A fall of 39.1% from 2015)
Women had 92% of all cosmetic procedures in 2015.
2016 figures for women in order of popularity:
- Breast augmentation: 7,732 – down 20% from last year
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 3,584 – down 55%
- Breast Reduction: 3,566 – down 38%
- Face/Neck Lift: 3,328 – down 53%
- Liposuction: 2,879 – down 42%
- Abdominoplasty: 2,591 – down 6%
- Rhinoplasty: 2,174 – down 14%
- Fat Transfer: 1,359 – down 56%
- Otoplasty (ear correction): 566 – down 9%
- Browlift: 562 – down 71%
The top surgical procedures for men in 2016 (2,409 total. A fall of 47.8% from 2015)
Men had 8% of all cosmetic procedures in 2016.
2016 figures for men in order of popularity:
- Rhinoplasty: 529 – down 35% from last year
- Otoplasty (ear correction): 421 – down 19%
- Liposuction: 339 – down 42%
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 321 – down 67%
- Breast Reduction: 320 – down 59%
- Abdominoplasty: 172 – up 47%
- Face/Neck Lift: 125 – down 66%
- Fat Transfer 100 – down 61%
- Brow lifts 45 – down 72%
- Breast augmentation: 37 – static
- BAAPS President and consultant plastic surgeon Simon Withey believes the downturn can be seen as positive, as clearly the public is being more thoughtful about the serious impact of surgical procedures;
- “The 2016 BAAPS audit demonstrates that at the very least, patients seem to be getting the message that cosmetic surgery is not a ‘quick fix’ but a serious commitment and are as a result, carefully evaluating risks as well as benefits surgery may offer. If it means people are taking their time to be truly sure a procedure is the right investment for them, then this can only be a good thing.”