'How More Britons Are Going Under The Knife For That Perfect Body'

Health Editor, Victoria Fletcher, reports on the increasing popularity of Cosmetic Surgery procedures in 2006. A patient from The Harley Medical Group (25 year old Nisha Gandhi) says she decided to have a Rhinoplasty with The Harley Medical Group after discovering that the operation was simple and relatively inexpensive - she says "I'm now really happy with how I look. I feel more confident and am delighted with how it's all gone".

The Express 'How More Britons Are Going Under The Knife For That Perfect Body'

Britain's obsession with cosmetic surgery led to a record number of procedures last year. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says its figures were up by nearly a third, showing plastic surgery has finally lost its social stigma. Now teachers, estate agents and even Geordie men, the epitome of macho male Britain, are playing a part in the boom. According to BAAPS, almost 29,000 operations were carried out by their members, a 31.2 per cent increase on the year before. If this trend is consistent across all UK cosmetic surgeons including private practices, it would mean the number of operations has topped 100,000. Douglas McGeorge, president of BAAPS, said TV makeover shows had helped the public understand what could be achieved. "These figures reflect the growing acceptance of aesthetic surgery, particularly in the areas of body contouring and anti-ageing," said Mr McGeorge. "I attribute at least some of this trend to the continued media coverage, which provides the public with an idea of what surgical procedures can achieve, as well as technological advances that improve safety and reduce costs." Many patients are also influenced by the dramatic results achieved by celebrities, including Jordan with her breast enlargements, Chicago star Ashlee Simpson's nose job, X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne's facelift and liposuction and Ann Robinson's botox treatment. Women remain the industry's best customers, with 92 per cent of procedures carried out on females. Breast enlargement was the top of their wish list. But more than 2,500 men had operations, with a fifth of those opting for nose jobs. Eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelifts were also popular. For women, the most alarming trend is among those desperate to change their body shape without hitting the treadmill. The number of people going for liposuction, which can be dangerous and painful, jumped by 90 per cent in 2005 to hit 4,000 operations. The popularity of TV shows where participants lose years after only a few procedures has also led to a rise in anti-aging surgery, with a 44 per cent rise in facelifts and a 48 per cent increase in the number of people having eyelid surgery. Consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover, a BAAPS council member who is responsible for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery, said: "It is clear we are becoming a more body image conscious society. "However, it is important to note that liposuction and tummy tucks are not a treatment for weight management or obesity. They are body-contouring procedures for patients near or already at their ideal body weight." One of the country's biggest cosmetic surgery firms, The Harley Medical Group, said a broader range of patients were now considering treatments. According to analysis of patient records, lawyers, teachers, estate agents and accountants were now joining more traditional customers, such as city staff and media workers. The figures show big increases in customers at the firm's clinics in Newcastle, Marlow, in Bucks, Chester and the City of London. But despite its surging popularity, cosmetic surgery does not come cheap. The Harley Medical Group charges �4,250 for breast enlargement, �3,990 for a nose job and at least �5,830 for a tummy tuck. Liposuction prices start at �2,940. Director Louise Braham said: "All of our clinics have seen substantial growth rates this year." She added that six new clinics had been launched to cope with the demand.

Why I Chose A Different Nose

Nisha Gandhi, 25, had wanted a nose job since she was 16 but feared it would upset her parents and would both be too costly and too painful. But last year, Nisha, from Birmingham, discovered the operation was simple and relatively inexpensive - the procedure can cost about �4,000. In October, she had a bump removed from her nose at The Harley Medical Group in Birmingham. And she had the support of family and friends. She believes there has been an increase in surgery as there is no longer any shame over the procedures. "I think that these days the attitude is, �if you are not happy with something then change it'," she said. "I'm now happy with how I look. I feel more confident and am delighted with how it's all gone."

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