22 January 2009New research has indicated that the cosmetic surgery market is defying the global economic downturn, as business booms thanks to Brits that want to invest in their looks through cosmetic surgery procedures. The figures released by the Harley Medical Group have found that the cosmetic surgery industry saw a 26 per cent growth rate year-on-year.Tummy tuck operations have seen the biggest growth in popularity, with a 54 per cent increase. According to the study, more patients are choosing to undergo the procedure after losing a significant amount of weight. Liz Dale, a director from the group, said: "Non-surgical procedures are growing faster than ever this year - with skin treatments like medical microdermabrasion and chemical peels up 86 per cent year-on-year because consumers are increasingly recognising them as inexpensive, highly-effective beauty solutions. "However, the surgical side of the business is also continuing to grow. In addition to the explosion in tummy tucks, rhinoplasty procedures are up 40 per cent and liposuction is up 27 per cent... so we're seeing evidence that people are prepared to spend money on their appearances despite the economic downturn." Michelle Gudgeon, a recent cosmetic surgery patient echoed that trend, commenting: "I'm cutting back in other areas because my bills have increased... but there was no way I was going to put off my surgery. This is something I've saved up for and wanted for ages." The latest numbers also indicate an increase in the number of men going under the knife, especially for non-surgical procedures like laser hair removal and Botox. Lisa Littlehales, a Harley Medical clinic manager, said: "We're definitely seeing ever more male traffic in terms of both patient enquiries and people treated."