23 June 2009New figures have shown that the number of people undergoing nipple surgery has jumped by 30 per cent in the last 12 months.The numbers released by the Harley Medical Group show that more and more people are going under the knife in order to change the shape or size of their nipples through breast surgery. What's more, Bosomfriends.co.uk - a specialist nipple prostheses website - has also announced a 'significant increase' in the sales of prosthetic nipples over the past year. One of the main contributing factors to the rising trend is claimed to be Victoria Beckham, who recently roused speculation that she may have undergone nipple surgery after appearing in a transparent black t-shirt. Dr Riccardo Frati, a cosmetic surgeon at the Harley Medical Group, said: "Until now celebrities didn't expose their nipples so they were no 'nipple role models'." He also explained: "Until recently, women didn't know they could alter the shape, colour and size of their nipples." Nipple surgery can involve a range of procedures. For instance, the most common type of nipple surgery is the correction of inverted nipples. This is when the nipple is flat or concave and refuses to protrude on its own, a condition that can make breastfeeding difficult. In the past, the majority of nipple surgery patients are women who have recently undergone a mastectomy. However, according to Dr Frati, more women are seeking the cosmetic surgery procedure for aesthetic reasons - for example, in order to change the colour of the areola (the pigmented area surrounding the nipple) or to make their nipples more symmetrical.