Around 22 million men and women – or the equivalent of half the UK’s adult population – have considered going under the surgeon’s knife to improve their appearance, new research has revealed.
Tummy tucks and liposuction procedures were the most popular, with almost 40 per cent of people admitting they had considered either operation.
Research group Mintel International questioned 2,000 British adults for the survey, which included equal numbers of men and women.
While surgery for the abdomen were the two most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, breast enlargements came in third, with almost a fifth of respondents admitting they would consider implants.
Women were twice as likely to go for cosmetic surgery than men, with young mothers the biggest group – at 57 per cent – who had considered a tummy tuck or liposuction.
Last year around £148 million was spent on tummy tucks and liposuction in Britain alone, with the number of operations up to 20,300 from 15,800 in 2006.
Breast surgery also saw a 14 per cent increase and facial enhancement rose by 16 per cent in the same period.
Alexandra Richmond, senior consumer analyst at Mintel, said television programmes and magazines promoting cosmetic surgery went some way to explaining the figures.
”Although not everyone who would consider surgery will actually go through with it, it is still staggering that almost half the nation entertain the idea of going under the knife,’ she said.
”There are a lot of TV programmes showing people having cosmetic surgery. People watch these and it desensitises them, it puts people at ease with the idea.
"It is also tied into the models in magazines and on TV that can give people a skewed vision of what a real figure looks like.
"Seeing surgery through these reality style programmes encourages people to think they can get the figure they want without the slog.
”To some, a cosmetic procedure seems like it would be a quick and easy solution, when in reality it can be anything but."
Tanveer Jaleel, founder and partner of TJL Solicitors, said: ‘Cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly acceptable among both men and women of all walks of life in Britain today.
‘But people should not be under the illusion that plastic surgery is a quick fix. Many operations, such as liposuction, are serious, invasive procedures.
‘We have dealt with many cases where patients have been left disappointed and physically scarred by negligent plastic surgery.
‘The market is badly regulated and it is essential people consider any cosmetic operation and research their surgeon very carefully before they agree to going under the knife