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Is cosmetic surgery available on the NHS?

Cosmetic surgery is not routinely provided on the NHS.

It may occasionally be provided on the NHS for psychological or other health reasons. For example, the NHS might pay for:

Generally, most people who want cosmetic surgery will need to pay for it privately.

Reconstructive or plastic surgery is often available on the NHS. It's different from cosmetic surgery because its main aim is to repair and reconstruct missing or damaged tissue and skin after an illness, accident or birth defect.

Plastic surgery includes procedures such as rebuilding a woman's breasts after a mastectomy (an operation to remove a breast), and repairing a cleft lip and palate.

More information

Page last reviewed: 17 April 2023
Next review due: 17 April 2026