'Demand for Cosmetic Surgery up by a third'

DEMAND for cosmetic surgery has soared because it has lost its stigma claims one of the country's biggest operators, The Harley Medical Group.

Daily Mail 'Demand for Cosmetic Surgery up by a third'

The number of inquiries it received in the first two weeks of the year is at an all-time high-a 32 per cent increase on 2007.

Breast surgery is still the most popular procedure- but 20 per cent more men are opting to go under the knife than in 2006.

The number of those having Botox has also soared by 51 per cent, while non-surgical facelifts and laser hair removal are also up.

‘It's not only the demand for cosmetic surgery changing, it's perceptions associated with it,' said group director Liz Dale said. ‘Increasingly, men are getting in on the act.

‘Twenty years ago the majority of our patients wouldn't tell anyone about their surgery, it would be a complete secret.

‘Now its more likely that 10 per cent will keep quiet whilst the majority are happy to share the details of surgery with their families and friends.

‘Cosmetic surgery is now socially acceptable. It's common amongst polite dinner party circles to swap recommendations for surgeons.

‘Non-surgical procedures such as laser hair removal are becoming as regular as a trip to the hairdressers for some patients.' A survey of thousands of patients revealed a third saved up for their procedures for up to two years.

But a quarter paid for at least part of the cost by credit card. A fifth had borrowed from their families and one in ten from a parent.

A tenth also took on two jobs to pay, while 8 per cent spent their inheritance or long-term savings.

Many did without foreign holidays to afford cosmetic treatment.

In 2007, the top choices for women were breast surgery, nose jobs and liposuction. While the traditional breast enhancement makes up a third of all procedures, more women are going for breast uplift and reduction. Cosmetic nurse Lisa Littlehales said: ‘Were definitely seeing a move towards similar breast sizes. The most popular cup size is a C. The most popular shape is the teardrop, a move away from the round, high profile.'

Breasts are also a focus for men, with male breast reduction, or gynaeconmastia, up a fifth since 2006, the same increase as tummy tucks. The most popular treatment for men remains nose surgery.

Miss Dale warned those considering surgery to choose their choices carefully.

She said: ‘Patients should always ask for the credentials of the person consulting them and also check that the clinic is registered with the Healthcare Commission to be assured of high patient care standards.'