Number of Brits having plastic surgery has decreased

The number of surgical cosmetic procedures recorded in the UK in 2019 was down 7.5% from the previous year. 

BAAPS’ 2019 audit of the cosmetic surgery industry showed nearly 27,000 procedures took place last year, though breast augmentation (6,900 surgeries) and reduction (4,245) remained the most popular and second most popular procedures respectively. 

Abdominoplasty jumped one place to third most popular from 2018, with 3,064 performed in 2019, up 5% from the previous year. The tummy tuck swapped places with blepharoplasty (2,539 performed), down 19% from 2018. 

The rest of the list of most popular procedures is as follows: 


Women had 92% of all cosmetic procedures in 2019. Men had 2,126 surgeries in total, a drop of 9.2% from 2018. The most popular procedures were: 

The report was compiled by former BAAPS president Rajiv Grover. He 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.”

He continued: “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.”

“…A thorough assessment of the psychological welfare of patients before they commit to surgery is crucial. We’ve recently introduced a BAAPS psychology course to guide surgeons through these sensitive conversations and to underline the need, whenever necessary, to advise against having surgery.”

BAAPS president and consultant plastic surgeon Paul Harris commented that the small dip in cosmetic surgery procedures could also be linked to a general decrease in consumer spending: “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.”

“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.”


Find out which aesthetic treatments are set to be most popular in 2020