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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 00:13 GMT
Big bucks spent on nips and tucks
Dermal filler being injected
Dermal fillers are used to fill out lips and wrinkles
The UK spends more on cosmetic surgery than any other European country, market analysts Datamonitor have claimed.

UK consumers paid nearly 500m for nips and tucks in 2006, topping the outlay of their image conscious counterparts in Italy and France, Datamonitor said.

But the figure was still way short of the 5.7bn dished out by Americans on cosmetic procedures in the same year.

Datamonitor predicted UK spending on surgery would swell to 1.5bn by 2011, rising at a faster rate than in the US.

'Convenient' procedures

A Datamonitor spokesman said: "Consumers' desire to improve personal appearance is on the rise.

Top European spenders on cosmetic surgery in 2006
UK - 497m
Italy - 160m
France - 141m
Germany - 128m
Spain - 70m
Netherlands - 28m
Sweden - 12m

"The fastest growing area of cosmetic surgery has been minimally invasive procedures, such as botox injections, which have soared over the last decade."

The analysts said convenience and falling costs had boosted the procedures' popularity.

They predicted that "personal care products" would be heavily marketed in the coming years as alternatives to cosmetic surgery.

These off-the-shelf products would appeal to people who were pressed for time, Datamonitor argued.

Body shape worries

A survey of more than 5,000 people in Europe and the US found that between 20% and 30% of the women polled had considered cosmetic surgery.

Katie Price
Katie Price, also known as Jordan, recently spent thousands of pounds on cosmetic surgery

Almost half of those asked were worried about the signs of aging, while two in three were concerned about their "body shape".

Earlier this month the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons revealed that a record number of women were having facelifts.

This fuelled a 12% rise in cosmetic operations in Britain last year, with a total of 32,453 surgical procedures carried out, compared with 28,921 in 2006.

Some 91% of patients were women, but "tummy tucks" and breast reductions on men also increased to record levels.

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