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Sunday, 23 January, 2000, 01:12 GMT
Cosmetic surgery soars
Cosmetic surgery is common among celebrities
The number of people going under the knife to improve their looks is rising dramatically.

Research in the US shows as much as an eight-fold rise in some types of cosmetic surgery over the past decade, while anecdotal evidence points to a similar trend in the UK.

Liposuction, tummy tucks, facial peels and other procedures are all on the up according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

And the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said there had also been a "huge increase" in the UK.

Number of cosmetic surgery procedures - 1990 and 1999
Liposuction - 71,632/599,430
Breast enlargement - 41,198/255,254
Face-lift - 36,981/224,216
Chemical skin peel - 64,000/1.5m
The American academy, based in Chicago, said that between 1990 and 1999 the number of liposuctions had increased from 71,600 to almost 600,000.

Breast enlargement operations were up six times, from almost 42,000 to more than 255,000 a year, while face lifts showed a similar increase.

A staggering 1.5m Americans opted for chemical skin peels last year, compared with just 64,000 in 1990.

Ageing

The academy attributed the rise to a number of factors, including the ageing of the Baby Boom generation and the increasing rates of disposable income.

It also cited a greater acceptance of surgery as a way to improve appearance, and increased competition among surgeons leading to stable prices.

Less invasive techniques and quicker recovery times made cosmetic surgery a more attractive option.

A spokesman for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said that though there were no comparable figures available for the UK, anecdotal evidence showed British people were also increasingly opting for cosmetic surgery.

He added: "These things are eventually reflected over here, we are following slowly behind America."

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