The over 65s and men are leading a surge in cosmetic surgery in Bournemouth.

This trend is mirrored across the UK, as Nuffield Health’s first annual Plastic Surgery insight survey reveals emerging trends in the market.

Nationally, almost two thirds (64 per cent) of Nuffield Health surgeons, who between them carry out 1 in 10 cosmetic procedures in the UK, reported an increase in older people seeking surgery. This figure was slightly higher amongst surgeons in the South West – where 67% noted this trend. Nuffield Health’s patient figures paint the same picture, with patients over 65 up by 49% in 2014 from 2007.

Men are also continuing to drive the cosmetic surgery market, with more than four in five (83 per cent) of Nuffield Health surgeons in the South West saying they have noticed a rise in men seeking cosmetic surgery in the form of nose jobs, eyelid lifts and ‘man boob’ removal. All of the South West surgeons questioned (100 per cent) also reported a rise in the number of previously overweight or obese patients looking for surgery following weight loss.

The Nuffield Health plastic surgeons believe the reasons behind the trend among the ‘baby boomer’ generation to be a direct result of people living longer, healthier lives and wanting to ‘look well’ too. For men, surgery has increasingly become ‘the norm’ in recent years, and the trend looks set to stay, with men accounting for one in ten of all UK cosmetic procedures.*

Mr Ian Whitworth, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Bournemouth hospital said: “I’m now seeing many more people in their 60s, 70s and even their 80s seeking plastic surgery as they not only want to remain fit and healthy into their old age but they want to look well too.  I think this trend will continue as this is an expanding age group.  They aren’t usually looking for radical work, normally face-rejuvenation, and providing they are fit and healthy, we can use new techniques and technologies which are ideally suited to them.”

These new groups of customers join the traditional customer set, such as mums wishing to restore their pre pregnancy bodies, women in their 20s seeking breast augmentation and women in their fifties asking for face lifts. Many surgeons (95 per cent) have also noted an increase in people looking for surgery after weight loss as the procedure is increasingly difficult to get on the NHS. 82 per cent of the surgeons said that they are seeing uplift across all customer types as people are starting to feel the benefits of coming out of a recession. Despite this, figures released last week by the plastic surgery body – BAAPS – reveal a slight decline overall for UK cosmetic surgery procedures.

While some surgeons confessed to having been asked for penis extensions, ear lobe reductions, buttock implants and even a forked tongue, mostly patients are seeking a natural look.

The plastic surgeons said they are seeing a definite move away from people looking to copy celebrities – for 75% of surgeons it was very rare to be asked to replicate a celebrity look – with people in favour of a natural looking result (100 per cent), something non-surgical (55 per cent) and to rejuvenate rather than enlarge (57 per cent).

In terms of what motivates people to consider surgery, the research highlighted that the choice is not down to peer pressure, pressure from a partner, or the need to look good at work, but the desire to improve self-confidence – which 100% of the surgeons agreed was a key motivator for most of their patients.

The surgeons, based at 31 Nuffield Health hospitals across the UK were also asked to share their predictions for the future. The majority agreed that they would continue to see an increase in men (95 per cent) and older people (82 per cent) amongst their patients and most thought that plastic surgery would increasingly become the norm – indeed many view it as the norm already in most parts of the UK.

Face transplants, light weight breast implants and mid face lifts (which lift the middle segment of the face) were highlighted as the new and innovative techniques that will become more commonplace over the coming years in the world of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery following accidents or injury.

 Mr Ian Whitworth, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Bournemouth hospital adds: “Plastic surgery is such an innovative speciality. In cosmetic surgery we are seeing much more integration between non-surgical and surgical procedures, combining fillers and Botox, and surgery where appropriate. 

The pioneering areas are really in reconstructive surgery where surgeons in the UK are really pushing boundaries, particularly in their work with the armed forces. There are also incredible things happening with tissue engineering, where facial features, like a nose, can be rebuilt using other parts of the body”.

2014 Top procedures (Nuffield Health statistics)



1.    Breast Augmentation

2.    Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

3.    Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

4.    Breast Reduction

5.    Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)



1. Breast Reduction

2. Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

3. Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

4. Otoplasty (Ear Correction)

5. Liposuction