19 November 2008

The number of tummy tucks paid for by the NHS in Lincolnshire has risen in 2007/2008, according to new statistics.

The Lincolnshire Echo reports that 21 people underwent tummy tucks paid for by the NHS during the period, compared to eight procedures paid for by the service last year.

Although most cosmetic surgery operations tend to be privately funded, the NHS is able to offer assistance to patients deemed in need of surgery for psychological or physical reasons.

NHS Lincolnshire spokesperson, Rachael Scoley, said: "NHS Lincolnshire is sometimes asked to make decisions on whether to use public money to fund treatments that are outside the normal range of NHS services or to fund treatments which have not been officially approved for use within the NHS.

"The exceptional cases committee considers all such requests sympathetically, taking into account individual circumstances and appropriate use of NHS funds."

Other cosmetic procedures funded by the NHS in 2007/2008 in Lincolnshire included 15 breast reductions, 16 otoplasty operations (ear reshaping) and one breast enlargement.

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 32,453 cosmetic surgery procedures were carried out in 2007, compared to 28,921 the year before.

As cosmetic surgery continues to grow in popularity nationwide, regional differences in favoured procedures have also become clear.

For example, a recent survey from the Harley Medical Group showed that breast augmentations were most popular in Newcastle, while residents in Nottingham favoured rhinoplasty above all other cosmetic surgery treatments.

In addition, facelifts came top in Chester, while Belfast saw the highest number of tummy tucks.