Cosmetic surgery operations surge by 30 per cent

Demand for plastic surgery has soared by a third as record numbers of British patients opt for cosmetic operations to improve their looks, new research has revealed.

Some non-surgical procedures are now as common as a trip to the hairdressers, with many people taking out loans or sacrificing new clothes, holidays and their social lives to save up for surgery.

According to one of the leading providers of cosmetic operations, The Harley Medical Group, the number of enquiries received in the first two weeks of 2008 is at an all time high – up 32 per cent increase on 2007.

Breast surgery is still the most popular procedure, but male surgery is also on the rise, up a fifth from 2006.

The number of people having quick fix treatments, such as Botox®, has also rocketed by more than half, and other non-surgical procedures, such as laser hair removal, are also increasing.

Of 2,000 patients surveyed, one in ten admitted taking a second job to fund their cosmetic operation.

More than a third said they had saved up for their treatment, while almost a quarter said they had paid on credit cards.

But while cosmetic surgery has become socially acceptable, experts have warned patients to be wary of rushing into plastic surgery without proper consultations.

They say some unscrupulous surgeons and clinics are aggressively marketing cosmetic operations for financial gain, at the expense of their clients’ health.

Tanveer Jaleel, founder and senior partner at TJL Solicitors, said: ‘Patients should always ask for the credentials of the doctor or healthcare worker carrying out their consultation and check that the clinic is registered with the Healthcare Commission, to be assured of high patient care standards.’Demand for cosmetic surgery is on the increase but people should be wary of the marketing tactics employed by some clinics.’We are seeing horrific cases where people have suffered personal injury and trauma as a result of botched cosmetic surgery.’One of the biggest problems is that some clinics are putting profits before patients by cutting corners and employing doctors who may not have completed the relevant higher surgical training.

‘As a result, they may not be genuine experts in the field of cosmetic surgery, which can put people’s lives at risk.’