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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 10:49 GMT
60% of women consider breast ops
1. Breast surgery 58% 5,750
2. Liposuction 33% 4,450
3. Tummy tuck 25% 5,200
1. Nose job 30% 4,450
2. Liposuction 25% 4,450
3. Mini facelift 11% 4,600
Source: Abbey

Almost six out of 10 women who have had, or would have plastic surgery would have a breast op, a survey suggests.

Men were most likely to opt for a nose job, with a third of those who had, or would have, surgery saying they had already had the operation or were considering doing so.

The findings emerged from a survey of just under 2,000 people for the financial group Abbey.

It found people were prepared to borrow an average of 4,000 to pay for cosmetic surgery.

Jordan is living proof that having big knockers can get you a good career
Dr Ruth Holliday, Centre for Gender Studies, Leeds University

In the survey, 58% of women who had already had, or who would have cosmetic surgery, would or had chosen to have a breast augmentation or reduction, or an operation to raise or reshape breasts.

Overall, women were three times more likely to opt to go under the knife than men, although men said they would borrow more.

Liposuction was the second most popular operation for both sexes.

The survey showed people living in Wales and the Midlands would borrow most to fund cosmetic surgery - while the Scots would borrow the least.

Many people admitted that they were happy to live on credit. A quarter said they would happily borrow up to 20,000.

Teenage patients

Angus Porter, customer director for Abbey, said: "We are borrowing more than ever before but we have more control over our finances than past generations.

Face/neck lift - 7,750
Breast reduction - 6,000
Nose surgery - 4,500
Eyelid surgery - 4,000
Brow lift - 2,500
Ear surgery - 2,500
"We live in a 'have it all' society and people are more comfortable about borrowing to achieve what they want, rather than only doing so when they feel there is no other option."

Dr Ruth Holliday, of Leeds University Centre for Gender Studies, said feminists had traditionally opposed cosmetic surgery because they felt women felt under pressure to conform to a certain look.

Midland and Wales - 4,420
London - 4,261
North - 4,150
South - 4,100
Scotland - 3,930
But she said it cosmetic surgery could be a positive choice: "Jordan is living proof that having big knockers can get you a good career."

She added: "Plastic surgery has fewer risks associated with it and breast surgery has become quite a routine operation."

It is estimated around 65,000 to 75,000 cosmetic surgery procedures are carried out each year in the UK.

Figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) show breast augmentation and breast raising or reshaping were the most popular operations in 2003, accounting for over 20% of all procedures.

Adam Searle, president elect of BAAPS, said: "We recognise that there has been an increase in demand and interest for cosmetic surgery, not simply in terms of increased numbers, but the increased range of people seeking cosmetic surgery; men and women, younger and older patients.

"It is now acceptable to pursue cosmetic surgery in a way it wasn't 10 years ago. its becoming an accepted part of modern life, but we mustn't lose sight of the careful decision making process that should be part of that cosmetic surgery environment.

"People need to remember that any surgical procedure carries a risk, and so those decisions should not be seen as frivolous."

The stigma of plastic surgery
13 Jan 04  |  Magazine

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