More than 43,000 people underwent cosmetic operations last year, according to annual statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
The figures show that the number of procedures increased by nearly six per cent, similar to rises in 2009 and 2010.
The biggest rise in demand was for male “tummy tucks”, or an abdominoplasty, which showed an annual increase of 15 per cent.
For the first time, the annual audit included fat transfer procedures – where fat is taken from one part of the body and injected elsewhere, mainly into the face to restore volume.
In total, women underwent 38,771 procedures, up from 34,413, an increase of 12.7 per cent.
This was in line with demand for male surgery which increased by seven per cent to 4,298 from 4,017.
Male procedures accounted for 10 per cent of all cosmetic surgery. Breast enhancement surgery maintained a slow but constant growth of 6.2 per cent from 9,418 to 10,003 in 2011 and continues to be the most popular procedure.
The operation kept its place as the second most common procedure for men, rising by seven per cent from 741 to 790.
“Tummy tucks” proved increasingly popular with men and women alike, with a rise of seven per cent from 3,039 to 3,251 in women and a 15 per cent increase in male demand from 108 to 124. Fat transfer procedures were up five per cent for both sexes, ranking the eighth most popular procedure among women and the sixth most popular for men.
Fazel Fatah, a consultant plastic surgeon and president of BAAPS, said: “It is understandable that procedures for the more noticeable areas of the face and body – such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty [nose jobs] and eyelid surgery – continue to prove popular when patients are looking to get the most ‘impact’ from their surgery to enhance their mental well-being and self-confidence.
“It is also not surprising to note a considerable rise in treatments such as tummy tucks and liposuction when there has been an increase in people undergoing obesity treatment such as gastric bands.
“These patients are usually left with a lot of loose skin that causes physical problems and unsightly body contour which can only be addressed by surgery.”
Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon and president elect of BAAPS, said: “The continued popularity of aesthetic plastic surgery, even through financially difficult times, demonstrates that the public sees real value in the psychological and physical improvement that can be achieved.
“Advances in techniques have also meant it’s harder to ‘tell’ if someone has undergone a procedure – they may just look well-rested, or refreshed.
“Whether because of the recent implant scare or a backlash against some ‘lunchtime’ non-surgical treatments that don’t deliver what they promise, it is reassuring that patients are doing their homework, evaluating criteria other than just price, and choosing BAAPS surgeons.”