UK breast enlargement operations soar over five years

The number of breast enlargement operations carried out in the UK has almost tripled over the last five years, according to a recent report.

The research was presented last week at the annual conference of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) - one of the country's most important cosmetic surgery bodies - and is widely believed to be the largest ever study in breast augmentation surgery in Britain.

It found that the number of breast enlargement operations had risen from 2,361 in 2002 to 6,497 in 2007 - an increase of 275 per cent.

According to Rajiv Grover, secretary of BAAPS, "The reason why we have this enormous increase is down to a number of factors, including improvements in surgery - shorter stays in hospital and shorter scar periods.

"It is also the result of media exposure. People used to think that breast augmentation was open only to celebrities and film stars whereas they are now aware that the procedure is open to all members of the public, should it be right for them."

In addition to the rise in breast enlargement surgery, the survey also found that the number of infections resulting from operations had fallen from 2.5 per cent - according to research undertaken by medical journal The Lancet, published in February 2005 - to 0.53 per cent.

Mr Grover added: "This survey of over 26,000 patients undergoing breast augmentation is the largest of its kind in Europe and demonstrates that reduced complication rates can be achieved by the application of careful surgical technique and a safe hospital environment."