London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) January 21, 2009 -- Figures released by The Harley Medical Group, the UK's largest cosmetic surgery provider, reveal the cosmetic surgery market is defying the global economic downturn with a 26% growth year-on-year.
Business has been booming throughout The Harley Medical Group's 23 UK cosmetic surgery clinics, as Brits continue to invest in themselves. Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck [http://www.harleymedical.co.uk/cosmetic-surgery-for-women/the-body/tummy-tuck--abdominoplasty/] operations as they are commonly known, have seen the biggest rise in popularity, with a 54% increase year-on-year. A growing number of patients are opting for this surgery following significant weight loss, where they're left with unsightly, excess skin flaps. The Harley Medical Group has conducted over 10,000 post-obesity surgical procedures over the last five years and with a quarter of all adults predicted to be clinically obese by 2010*, the Tummy Tuck boom looks set to continue.
Liz Dale, Director at The Harley Medical Group, commented: "What's working for us is that we're attracting two different types of customers. Non-surgical procedures are growing faster than ever this year - with skin treatments like Medical Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels up 86% year-on-year - because consumers are increasingly recognising them as inexpensive, highly-effective beauty solutions."
She continued: "However, the surgical side of the business, which accounts for 70% of all procedures, is also continuing to grow. In addition to the explosion in Tummy Tucks, Rhinoplasty procedures are up 40% and Liposuction [http://www.harleymedical.co.uk/cosmetic-surgery-for-men/the-body/liposuctionfat-removal-liposculpture/] is up 27% year-on-year, so we're still seeing evidence that people are prepared to spend money on their appearance, despite the economic downturn. Cosmetic surgery is something that our patients will have planned for and thought about for a long time. They see surgery as an investment and are unlikely to postpone; instead they'll cut back in other non-essential areas like taking foreign holidays."
Michelle Gudgeon, 43 from Durham, a patient at The Harley Medical Group who's recently had an Abdominoplasty said: "I'm cutting back in other areas because my bills have increased and I'm concerned about what might happen next year, but there was no way I was going to put off my surgery. This is something I've saved up and wanted for ages. Before I had the operation I'd thought about it for years. Having the procedure has given me a huge confidence boost - it's a long time investment with a lifetime benefit."
These latest figures also show men now make up significant patient numbers at the Harley Medical Group, accounting for 17.5% of all patients.
Lisa Littllehales, Harley Street Clinic Manager commented: "Non surgical procedures are particularly popular with men, boosting treatments of PPx Aesthera, which is used to treat acne and sun-damage. We're increasingly offering more male-friendly treatments such as Laser Hair Removal to remove back, chest and facial hair and Botox to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). We're definitely seeing ever more male traffic in terms of both patient enquiries and people treated."
The Harley Medical Group has been established for 25 years and has performed over 400,000 treatments.
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*Department of Health's "Forecasting Obesity to 2010" report