FACELIFT figures have soared in Buckinghamshire as more people decide to have cosmetic surgery.

Plastic surgery fans are paying out fees starting at £6,000 as they try and hold onto their youthful looks.

National figures released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) show that facelifts alone rose by 44 per cent in 2006 in comparison with 2005.

One of Buckinghamshire's leading plastic surgeons, Adrian Richards of AR & Associates, is not surprised by the new trend and has witnessed a rise in patients who are willing to shell out the money in order to remain young looking.

Dr Richards - who was named as one of the top surgeons in a poll by the Independent on Sunday - has a number of practices in and around Buckinghamshire including one at the Shelburne Hospital, on Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe.

According to Dr Richards his practices have seen a 30 per cent growth in people having surgery in the last year.

In January alone the surgeon has already performed 15 facelifts. He said: "This significant rise in facial plastic surgery comes as no surprise to me.

"We have seen a growth year on year in facelifts - but last year we registered an all-time high."

The surgeon has warned would-be customers to check out the credentials of clinics before committing to a treatment.