New data from private healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com reveals what’s hot and what’s not in its mid-year round up of cosmetic trends, showing the most popular and fastest growing plastic surgery procedures of the last six months.
The fastest emerging trend is full abdominoplasty, with enquiries sky-rocketing by 264% in just six months*. The surgery, which involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen, typically costs £5,330, and requires a minimum of two weeks rest afterwards, with full recovery taking between three and six months.
Tummies are clearly a top priority for Brits, with lipoabdominoplasty enquiries also up 172% across the same period. This procedure, which combines liposuction and abdominoplasty to remove the excess fat and loose skin of the abdomen, costs an average of £6,321.
Arm lift (brachioplasty) is the second fastest growing surgical cosmetic procedure, with enquiries more than trebling (239%) over the past six months. Brachioplasty, a form of body contouring, is normally performed on patients with loose or sagging skin on the upper arms, with recovery taking up to two weeks, and will set patients back on average £3,732.
When looking at the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in terms of demand, WhatClinic.com’s report shows that breast implants remain top of the list, with the highest number of enquiries across all treatments in 2014, and so far in 2015.
The second and third most popular procedures over the past six months, in terms of volume of enquiries, have been liposuction – a technique in cosmetic surgery for removing excess fat from under the skin by suction – and rhinoplasty (better known as a nose job). Both of these procedures were also in the top three most popular procedures last year. Tummy tuck surgery is the fourth most popular procedure, compared to its position at number seven in 2014. Enquiries for this procedure have more than doubled (111%) over the winter.
Fat transfer, otoplasty (ear reshaping), eyelid surgery, and gynecomastia (male breast reduction) were all within the top ten most popular procedures of 2014, and have maintained their popularity, with all of these treatments topping the list of those which had seen the highest number of enquiries over the last sixth months.
In comparison, demand for butt implants has bottomed out over the past six months, with enquiries rising only 15%. That’s in stark contract to 2014 - the year of Kim Kardashian-West’s infamous ‘belfie’ photo - when it became one of the most popular procedures of the year, with enquiry levels up a staggering 182%, and within the top ten most popular treatments in terms of volume of enquiries.
Some procedures have seen a decrease in demand from UK patients in the past six months. This is the case for areola (nipple) reduction (-36%) and hymenoplasty (-22%) - which is the surgical restoration of the hymen. Both procedures would cost you respectively £2,142 and £2,697 on average.
The following table shows the ten treatments that have seen the highest volume of enquiries from UK patients over the past six months:
Average starting price of treatment
% increase in enquiries over the past six months
Going up, going down - the following table shows a list of popular procedures that have seen an increase or decrease in demand in the past six months:
Average price of treatment
% change in enquiries over past six months
Inverted Nipple Surgery
Emily Ross, director of WhatClinic.com, comments: “Despite the fact that the range of non-surgical alternatives available to UK consumers has broadened considerably, full surgical procedures for cosmetic purposes are more popular than ever. Breast augmentation is by far the most common plastic surgery treatment being sought by UK patients, though we are also seeing more men seeking treatment for male breast reduction.
“With demand so high, it is crucial that patients have access to up to date information about the credentials and qualifications of their chosen practitioner, which, even in the UK can be confusing at the best of times.
"There are thousands of reviews on our site, but there are some pieces of advice that come up again and again. The first is know the risks - if you are fully informed about things that could possibly go wrong you can be better prepared. The second is not to rush. Take your time and don't let yourself be pressured by offers or price. I would also add to make sure your practitioner is not only qualified, but well-experienced. Ideally you want a surgeon who has performed the same treatment many, many times, and is happy to answer any question you might have.”