Healthy living

Sharp rise in 'man boob' surgery

Sharp rise in man boo ops Biggest increase in demand in 2010

There has been a sharp increase in the number of men going under the knife to get rid of their 'man boobs,' new figures show.

Last year, 741 men underwent breast reduction surgery, up 28 per cent on the previous year, figures released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) revealed.

Although nose alterations are still the most popular surgical procedure requested by men, the biggest increase in demand was for male breast reductions. Up to one litre of fat is removed during the procedure, which takes around an hour and a half to perform and usually costs about £2,000.

Despite the economic downturn, the number of people opting for cosmetic surgery in the UK continues to rise. In 2010, a total of 38,274 surgical procedures were performed on men and women, a five per cent increase on 2009. Of these, 32,859 were in women.

Breast enhancement surgery remains the most popular procedure carried out on women by Baaps surgeons, with more than 9,000 operations carried out in 2010, up 10 per cent on the previous year.

Surgery for ear corrections and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) fell in popularity among both sexes.

Fazel Fatah, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president, said: "The public's interest in aesthetic surgery remained strong in spite of the economic downturn.

"Procedures showing the more considerable rise during this period seem to be, perhaps not surprisingly, concentrated on the most visible areas of the body: facelifts, breasts and nose jobs.

"Surgeries that decreased in popularity were for the areas which could potentially be 'hidden' or disguised, such as tummy tucks and pinning back prominent ears."

Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president-elect, added: "Every week there are reports in the press of new so-called 'lunchtime' procedures.

"The growth rates for surgical face-lifting, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty show double-digit percentage rises because patients are looking for the real deal, for treatments which deliver a reliable long-lasting result and have a proven safety record.

"The failure of injectable fillers has clearly fuelled a very significant rise in surgical treatment - despite the recession."

Most popular surgical procedures in men and women

Women (number of procedures shown in brackets)

  • Breast enhancement (9,430)
  • Eyelid surgery (5,779)
  • Face/Neck Lift (4,493)
  • Breast reduction (4,218)
  • Nose alteration (3,214)
  • Abdominoplasty (3,039)
  • Liposuction (2,896)
  • Brow lifts (1,390)
  • Ear correction (618)


  • Nose alteration (993)
  • Breast reduction (741)
  • Eyelid surgery (652)
  • Ear correction (496)
  • Liposuction (473)
  • Face/Neck Lift (263)
  • Brow lifts (123)
  • Abdominoplasty (108)

This article was published on Mon 31 January 2011

Image © Bruce Robbins -

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