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Breast enlargement tops cosmetic surgery list in Britain

The high demand in Britain for operations to enlarge women's breasts has turned cosmetic surgeons here into millionaires.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 20:16 IST

The high demand in Britain for operations to enlarge women's breasts has turned cosmetic surgeons here into millionaires, latest figures from the industry reveal.

Breast enlargement topped the list of cosmetic operations performed in 2005 and the overall demand for cosmetic operations was up by one-third, according to figures published by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

Breast operations were up by more than 50 percent, to 5,655 operations.

Each breast enlargement operation costs about 4,000 pounds. Operations to reduce breasts numbered 2,700 while anti-ageing operations such as eyelid surgery and brow lifts increased between a third-and-a-half.

The association revealed that women were not the only ones going in for cosmetic surgery - operations sought by men accounted for 2,440, or 11 percent of the total performed. The most popular operation on men is rhinoplasty - the procedure to have an aesthetically pleasing nose.

According to The Independent, more than 100,000 cosmetic procedures are carried out in Britain each year, including treatments such as botox for wrinkles and laser peels to rejuvenate skin, performed by doctors who have had no specialist training in cosmetic surgery.

The growth has been fuelled by television programmes such as "Nip and Tuck" and magazine promotions that have extolled the benefits of the surgical makeover. The trend has been welcomed by some surgeons but alarmed others.

Said Douglas McGeorge, the president-elect of BAAPS: "When performed under the right circumstances, aesthetic surgery can have a very positive psychological impact and improve a patient's quality of life."

Adrian Searle, the current president of the association, warned: "With the increasing media coverage that provides the public with ever more information on what surgical procedures might achieve, it is essential our members promote responsible practices."

Searle said: "The trivialisation of medical procedures is appalling. It seems to have come down to the level of loyalty cards, money-off vouchers, competition prizes and even a raffle prize of a procedure of your choice.

"This belittling of the seriousness of undertaking a medical procedure degrades not only our specialty but also the medical profession as a whole."

First Published: Jan 17, 2006 20:16 IST