Plastic surgery is increasing in popularity, partly as a result of television programmes that have made it mainstream viewing. Any remaining taboos about plastic surgery have gradually disappeared. In the United Kingdom in 2004 the number of cosmetic procedures increased by 18% compared with 2003, to 16 367. Greater interest in plastic surgery is reflected in the 15 million websites worldwide dedicated to plastic surgery; 500 000 of these sites are based in the United Kingdom.
The British Association for Plastic Surgeons, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is the professional representative body for plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the United Kingdom (www.bapras.org.uk). The website gives an overview of the work of the association and also gives authoritative advice on the management of conditions that fall within this specialty. It is an open access site and has been designed to provide information on plastic surgery for the general public,