More people had liposuction to remove fat last year than ever before, figures have revealed.
Liposuction is increasing in popularity among men and women
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said just under 4,000 liposuction procedures were carried out in 2006, up 90% from 2005.
That means it is now the third most popular procedure, up from eighth. Breast surgery is still the most common choice, followed by eyelid surgery.
But surgeons stress it is not a way of treating obesity or weight loss.
MOST POPULAR PROCEDURES - 2006
Breast augmentation - 6,156 - up 9% from 2005
Eyelid surgery - 5,065 - up 48%
Liposuction - 3,986 - up 90%
Face/neck lift - 3,281 - up 44%
Breast reduction - 3,219 - up 19%
Abdominal wall surgery - 2,743 - up 47%
Nose jobs - 2,678 - up 18%
Ear correction - 943 - down 20%
Brow lifts - 868 - up 50%
In total, 28,921 surgical procedures were carried out by BAAPS members in private practice, up 31.2% from 2005, when 22,041 were performed
Women had 26,469 procedures in 2006, up from 19,601 the previous year and made up 92% of the subjects of cosmetic surgery.
The top procedure for women continues to be breast augmentation, with 6,156 carried out, followed by eyelid surgery, liposuction, face or neck lifts and breast reduction.
Nose jobs were the most common operation for men, with 525 carried out last year, followed by eyelid surgery, liposuction, ear correction and face or neck lifts.
Not without risk
Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon and president of the BAAPS, said: "These figures reflect the growing acceptance of aesthetic surgery, particularly in the areas of body contouring and anti-ageing.
"I attribute at least some of this trend to the continued media coverage which provides the public with an idea of what surgical procedures can achieve, as well as technological advances that improve safety and reduce costs."
Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon and the BAAPS representative responsible for the national audit, said: "Judging by the dramatic rise in certain procedures, it is clear we are becoming a more body-image conscious society.
"However, it is important to note that liposuction and tummy tucks are not a treatment for weight management or obesity: they are body contouring procedures for patients near or already at their ideal body weight."
He added: "When considering cosmetic surgery it is essential to be selective in choosing the right surgeon as the results of good surgery may be long lasting but no procedure is without some risk.
"When performed under the right circumstances, aesthetic surgery can have a very positive psychological impact and improve quality of life."