Clinical negligence team concerned about lack of regulation as cosmetic procedures up by 17% in 2013

Posted: 04/02/2014


Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team report today that figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) show a significant increase in the popularity of cosmetic surgery in 2013. A total of 50,122 cosmetic procedures were carried out in 2013, which is an increase of 17% on average from 2012. The audit confirms that there has been “an impressive double digit-rise in all cosmetic procedures, a trend not seen since the heady pre-recession days of 2008”.

Despite the PIP breast implant scandal which caused worldwide concern about safety, there does not appear to have been any long term effect on people's willingness to undergo breast augmentation surgery which remains the top surgical procedure in the UK with a 13% increase in numbers in 2013.

The procedure which saw the biggest increase in 2013 was liposuction, with a huge 41% rise in popularity. This indicates that women are increasingly turning to serious surgical intervention instead of the advertised 'quick fix' solutions which are often less effective or a targeted diet and exercise programme.

While women still dominate the aesthetic cosmetic surgery market, undergoing 90.5% of all cosmetic procedures, the popularity among men is also rising. BAAPS figures show that “male surgery numbers rose by 16% overall but the proportion held steady from last year, with men still accounting for one in ten (9.5%) of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures”.

For men and women combined, the order of popularity of the top ten surgical procedures has remained unchanged and the top ten surgical procedures for 2013 were:

  Top ten surgeries Number of procedures
1. Breast augmentation 11,135 – up 13% from last year
2. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) 7,808 – up 14%
3. Face/neck lift 6,380 – up 13%
4. Breast reduction 5,476 – up 12.5%
5. Rhinoplasty 4,878 – up 17%
6. Liposuction 4,326 – up 41%
7. Abdominoplasty 3,466 – up 16%
8. Fat transfer 3,302 – up 14.5%
9. Brow lift 2,138 – up 17%
10. Otoplasty (ear correction) 1,213 – up 14%

Michael Cadier, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAAPS President Elect, said: "The number of procedures undergone by both men and women has increased … At the BAAPS we continue in our mission to promote public education and safety in aesthetic plastic surgery.”

Sarah Gubbins, associate in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, comments: “Given the increased popularity of cosmetic surgery procedure evidenced by these figures, we feel that it is imperative to educate the public and ensure safety in cosmetic surgery. There is still a lack of information and  regulation and within our cosmetic surgery team we are seeing increasing numbers of patients with poor outcomes or unexpected complications. It is vital that people fully understand the procedure to be done and that it is carried out by a suitably trained and regulated individual.”


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