The number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery rose last year, despite the economic downturn, new figures have revealed.
According to an audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the number of operations carried out by their members went up 6.7 per cent in 2009 to reach 36, 400.
The biggest rise was in operations undertaken by men to get rid of their man boobs or ‘moobs’, a procedure medically known as gynaecomastia.
Last year 581 men had cosmetic surgery for the condition, which can be caused by hormone treatment for cancer or being overweight.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons only admits surgeons with extra training in cosmetic surgery to ensure they are skilled.
The association represents about one third of the cosmetic surgeons working in Britain so, in reality, the total number of moob operations last year could be more than 1,500.
Female procedures increased by five per cent while male procedures rose by 20 per cent.
Mr Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS Secretary responsible for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery, said: "This year we have recorded a dramatic rise in a number of male surgical procedures, probably due to heightened media attention, which has allowed men to realise the positive outcomes that can be achieved.
"The continued popularity of brow lifts and eyelid surgery may mean that patients still keen to have rejuvenating treatments despite the recession, are choosing more cost-effective measures such as targeting one particular feature, rather than having a whole facelift."