Europe News

Cosmetic surgery sees large bounce in UK

The cosmetic surgery industry the U.K. has bounced back to its pre-recession levels thanks to a double-digit increase in people choosing to under the knife to get either firmer, bigger or younger-looking, according to a nationwide report published Monday.

Over 50,000 surgical procedures were performed in the U.K. in 2013 -- a 17 percent rise in all types of cosmetic operations performed privately on the previous year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said.

Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and President of the BAAPS, said that the increase in procedures in 2013 had a direct link to a widespread improvement in the U.K. economy, which reported the fastest economic growth in six years last week and has seen the unemployment rate drop rapidly.

(Read more: UK economy records fastest growth in 6 years)

"Both the UK economy and the British public seem to be well on the way to regaining their shape with the most impressive rise in demand for cosmetic surgery we have seen since the onset of the recession in 2008," he said of the report's latest findings.

Media for Medical | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Liposuction procedures had increased by the highest amount, by 41 percent in 2013 while the number of breast operations (still the top surgical procedure in the U.K.) had increased 13 percent year on year.

The uptick in breast surgery follows a high-profile scandal in the U.K. and France over faulty breast implants but BAAPs said the figure shows that "demand for the procedure doesn't appear to have significantly diminished in the longer term."

Another economic factor that hasn't appeared to put a damper on the industry is the U.K.'s economic downturn since the financial crisis hit in 2007. In fact, the value of the cosmetic surgery procedures market was worth £2.3 billion in 2010 ($3.75 billion) and is estimated to grow to £3.6 billion by 2015, BAAPS reported.

"The continued double-digit rise of cosmetic surgery underlines the fact that whether it is breast augmentation or anti-ageing procedures like face-lifting, the public are choosing tried-and-tested surgical methods rather than the magical-sounding quick fixes that fail to deliver promised results."

(Read more: How much younger does plastic surgery make you look?)

Anti-ageing procedures had also increased in popularity with face and neck lifts up 13 percent, eyelid surgery up 14 percent and fat transfer (where fat is injected into the face to add volume) by 15 percent.

The number of men having cosmetic surgery also rose in 2013 with body-contouring procedures such as liposuction up by 28 percent and gynaecomastia (or procedures on "man boobs," as they are unflatteringly known) up by a quarter.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt.