People in the UK are spending more on cosmetic surgery procedures than any other country in Europe, a new survey has revealed.
Britons splashed out more than £500million on plastic surgery in 2006 and experts predict we will spend a staggering £1.5billion on treatments per year by 2011.
Cosmetic surgery is expanding at a faster rate in the UK than anywhere else in the world, with a 34 per cent rise in procedures last year, compared to between 10 and 22 per cent rises elsewhere.
Market analysts Datamonitor, who carried out the research, said a rise in non-invasive cosmetic surgery treatments, such as Botox®, coupled with a reduction in the cost of procedures, making plastic surgery more accessible to the masses, were behind the rise in spending.
They claimed a third of all women they questioned worldwide had considered cosmetic surgery, while half worried about getting old.
Three-quarters also said their body shape was of ‘major concern’ to them.
The figures revealed that Italians had the second highest spend of the European countries surveyed, at £158million, followed by France on £142million.
The combined spending on cosmetic surgery of all European countries in 2006 was £1.25billion although this figure was dwarfed by the £5.79billion spent on procedures in the United States.
By 2011 experts predict £14billion will be spent worldwide on cosmetic procedures.
Tanveer Jaleel, founder and senior partner at TJL Solicitors, said that cosmetic surgery was a booming business in Britain.
But he warned patients to be wary of spending their hard-earned money without checking out the credentials of their plastic surgeon first.
‘Cosmetic surgery is one of the fastest growing markets in Britain,’ Mr Jaleel said.
‘However, with so much money at stake people need to be wary of unscrupulous surgeons putting profit before their patients.
‘Most British doctors are well trained and offer a good service.
‘But the industry is still badly regulated and we are handling an increasing number of cases where patients have been offered expensive procedures by doctors not properly qualified to carry out the operations.
‘People need to research their surgeon carefully and know what they want before they go in for a consultation. If you are looking for breast implants, don’t be tempted into having a nose job as well simply because the surgeon offers you a so-called bargain price.
‘If it seems too good a deal to be true, it most likely is.’