This year's must-have cosmetic surgery: the Beyoncé nip and butt

There is growing demand from British women for buttock implants. Jonathan Thompson reports
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Indy Lifestyle Online

First it was noses; then breasts, lips, even feet. Now British women are flocking to have cosmetic surgery on an entirely different area of the body.

First it was noses; then breasts, lips, even feet. Now British women are flocking to have cosmetic surgery on an entirely different area of the body.

Cosmetic surgeons are reporting a sharp increase in the number of patients signing up for one of the most surprising procedures to date: buttock augmentation.

Enamoured with the voluptuous figures of celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé Knowles (left), growing numbers of British women are deciding to part with the thousands of pounds needed to swell their lower curves, with the help of expensive silicone implants.

The phenomenal rise of the "rump plump", demand for which has increased tenfold over the past two years, according to one high-profile Harley Street physician, follows a sweeping trend on the other side of the Atlantic. The American Society for Plastic Surgery has reported a fivefold increase in the past year.

Jeya Prakash, a leading cosmetic surgeon who has been conducting buttock enhancement operations for nearly a decade, says the operation was once so unusual he did no more than one a year. Now he is conducting one enhancement a fortnight.

"Since Jennifer Lopez came into the field, people have begun to really like that South American-style shape," said Mr Prakash. It's about the curviness and a balance of sexiness, like a Renaissance painting."

The procedure itself, which can take as little as 40 minutes, involves sliding silicone implants or fat removed from elsewhere in the body beneath muscles in the upper buttocks, making them firmer and more pronounced.

A leading surgeon like Mr Prakash would typically charge between £6,000 and £9,000 for the operation.

Another leading London-based cosmetic surgeon, Douglas Harrison, said he too had noted a significant increase in clients requesting buttock enhancement.

"It is relatively common now," said Mr Harrison. "European women have become increasingly aware that nicely rounded buttocks are more attractive to the male eye than the flat ones you see on models. In the northern hemisphere, we used to think of beauty in terms of big breasts; now we are starting to realise buttocks are important too."

A team of cosmetic surgeons has even identified the dimensions of the most desirable female bottom. Writing in the latest edition of the medical journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery this week, they conclude that the key factor is the distance that the bottom sticks out horizontally, the so-called anteroposterior projection. The "lateral depression", the "intragluteal fold" (the crease where the buttock meets the leg) and the "supragluteal fossettes", the two gentle depressions at the top of the buttocks, also feature significantly.

The growing trend for buttock augmentation forms only part of a cosmetic surgery boom. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic surgeons claims that women underwent 15,019 procedures in the UK last year, compared with 9,916 in 2003. Bupa also reported a 32 per cent increase in cosmetic surgery operations in its hospitals in 2004.

The Independent on Sunday spoke to two women who had recently undergone successful buttock augmentation operations. Both wished to disguise their identities.

Kate, a 38-year-old mother of one from Kent, underwent buttock enhancement surgery with London specialists Rubicon Medical last year. She described herself as "over the moon" with the results. "I am very, very satisfied. I wear size eight jeans, but whereas before my buttocks looked totally flat, now they look excellent," she said. "Different people have said how great they look in trousers; it's definitely a Kylie bum now."

Mary, a 32-year old from London, underwent surgical enhancement four months ago. "My sister and all my friends had fuller, more curvy buttocks, and it had played on my mind for a long time," she said. "Now I feel really happy with what I've got. My bum looks bigger, more pert and more sexy. The operation cost £5,800, but it was definitely money well spent."

Additional reporting by Roger Dobson

'My new bottom was incredible - it was high, pert and perfect'

Sharon Brown hated what she described as her 'flat outline' so much that she paid £4,800 to have buttock augmentation surgery. Ms Brown, a businesswoman from Hammersmith, west London, said she had been "miserable" with her body shape since puberty - but her self-image had improved dramatically since she had the silicon implants fitted.

"When I tell people that having buttock implants has changed my life, I truly mean it," said Ms Brown, 37. "Having achieved the figure I so desperately wanted, my confidence has soared."

Ms Brown, who spent three months' wages on the procedure, said the pain was "excruciating", but seeing the end result for the first time was "amazing".

"Seeing my new bottom was just incredible. It was high, pert and perfect - the shape I'd always dreamed of having. Better than that, it looked and felt so natural. I was in tears because this was something I'd wished for and dreamed of for so long.

"My whole state of mind has changed," she continued. "I'm happy, outgoing and have thrown away all my baggy clothes. Instead, I wear short skirts, clingy dresses and tight trousers. At last, I no longer feel the need to make myself look invisible - and it feels fantastic."

The cosmetic surgery hitlist

Bunionectomies, toe- shortening and collagen implants help feet fit shoes and look better in high heels

Lip enhancement using injections or implants - usually collagen

Eyebag removal surgery (blepharoplasty) and nose surgery (rhinoplasty)

Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) to remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area