Going under the knife is a big decision, and certainly one which should not be taken lightly.

Figures released earlier this year by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPPS), reveal that facelifts and liposuction are the most popular procedures, with body sculpting fat removal having increased by 20%.

Dan Marsh, an award-winning Harley Street plastic and cosmetic surgeon, comments: “The decision to have plastic surgery can be stimulated by many factors – most commonly a change in life circumstances such as a divorce or coming into some money, which allows you to afford to make that change you’ve always wanted. 

“There is no right or wrong time to have plastic surgery – it is always a very individual and personal decision – but there are key ages and life stages to aim for to get the best results.”

[Related story: Lorraine Kelly's plastic surgery reveal: I'd never have Botox]

And finding the right surgeon if you are considering a procedure can be overwhelming. Consultant ENT Surgeon Sarah Little from London’s The Face Surgeons says the key to successful results lies in the honest relationship between patient and surgeon.

“Certainly your plastic surgeon should never push you to have surgery and you should always be given a cooling-off time as recommended by BAAPS who have a code of conduct their members adhere to,” says Sarah.

With that in mind, Sarah offers her top tips when choosing to undergo cosmetic surgery:

1. Have a clear idea in your mind of what you are concerned about and what you would like to be improved.

2. Find a surgeon who listens to your concerns and explains clearly what a realistic outcome from surgery might be.

3. Meet your surgeon at least two weeks before your operation, and ideally meet them again before the surgery. This gives you time to fully consider and understand your operation.

4. Make sure your surgical team provides clear written or online information about your operation and what you can expect during the recovery process.

5. Ask lots of questions until you are happy you completely understand the benefits and risks of surgery.

6. Find a surgeon who is highly qualified and trained in your operation, and that can explain their own results of surgery to you (including complication rates). Most of all, make sure this is someone you trust.

7. Make sure you understand what to do afterwards in case something goes wrong, and that your surgeon has given you a plan of aftercare.

8. Be wary of 'promotions' or financial incentives to pay for surgery.

9. Make sure you have been given a written plan for the cost of surgery including any costs associated with complications or revision procedures.

10. Take your time to consider whether cosmetic surgery is right for you – don’t rush your decision. If in doubt, leave it: don’t feel pressurised to go through with any procedure until you’re 100% sure.