Moob ops down by a fifth as cash-strapped men opt for the gym instead
642 men had 4k op last year compared to 790 in 2011Plastic surgeons say recession could mean men have less spare cash to splashFigures also revealed women more likely to have fat ‘transfers’ to slim some areas while plumping the face

, surgeons speculate that more people are simply trying to burn off the fat.

Rajiv Grover, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, which collected the figures, said: ‘The considerable drop in body-shaping procedures may well be due to people choosing to head back to the gym, perhaps inspired by an unforgettable summer of Olympic golds.’

Ricky Gervais is one high-profile sufferer of moobs

Ricky Gervais is one high-profile sufferer of moobs

The number of liposuction procedures, in which fat is sucked out of the hips, thighs, stomach, buttocks and other problem areas, fell by 14 per cent in 2012.

The year also saw 12 per cent fewer tummy tucks than in 2011.

But while fewer people were having fat removed, more were having it inserted.

The audit of surgeons showed that women are now more likely to have fat ‘transfers’, in which fat is taken out from one part of the body and used to plump up the ageing face, than liposuction.

In 2012, BAAPS members did liposuction 2,638 times – but performed 2,641 fat transfers.

Other anti-ageing procedures on the rise include male brow lifts, which were 19 per cent more popular, and facelifts, which were more frequently performed on both sexes than in 2011.

Eyelid surgery, in which tired, puffy and overhanging skin is removed, was up 13 per cent overall, making it the second most popular op.

Breast enlargement remained the most popular procedure, with 43,172 done in 2012 – a slight increase despite the recent scandal in almost 50,000 British women were fitted with cut-price implants filled with an industrial-grade silicone meant for mattresses.

Face and neck lifts took third place.

BAAPS president, Rajiv Grover, said: ‘The growth rates for surgical face-lifting and other anti-ageing procedures showed a double digit rise, despite a double dip recession.

‘Perhaps because of turbulent financial times, patients are looking for tried and tested procedures that deliver a reliable, long-lasting result and which have a proven safety record.

‘Whilst there is an undeniable rise in demand for non-surgical treatments of the face, for example Botox, once there is actual loose skin in the neck or jowling, only surgery is likely to make a significant impact and the public seem to be increasingly aware of this.’

In all, 43,172 operations were carried out. However, BAAPS members only do around a third of cosmetic surgery ops, so the true total is likely to be close to 150,000.


The breast is made up of two main components, glandular tissue (firm and dense) and fatty tissue (soft). The ratio of glandular to fatty tissue in any breast varies from individual to individual and in gynaecomastia there may be an excess of both. If there is predominantly a diffuse fatty enlargement of the breast, liposuction is the usual treatment.

This involves sucking out the tissue through a small tube inserted via a 3-4mm incision. If excess glandular tissue is the primary cause of breast enlargement, it may need to be excised (cut out) with a scalpel. This will leave a scar, usually around the nipple edge.

This excision can be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction. Major reductions that involve the removal of a significant amount of tissue and skin may require larger incisions that result in more obvious scars.

Most operations for gynaecomastia take about 90 minutes and are performed under general anaesthetic, or in some cases, under local anaesthesic with sedation.

Source: BAAPS