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Tuesday, 2 March, 1999, 01:59 GMT
More young women seek cosmetic surgery
Baby Spice
Women who want plastic surgery envy Baby Spice's nose
Cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly popular and up to one in three UK women have considered a procedure, a survey says.

Melinda Messenger
Women wanting breast surgery hope to look like Melinda Messenger
They want to have the breasts of glamour model Melinda Messenger, the thighs of supermodel Naomi Campbell, the nose of Baby Spice Emma Bunton and the bottom of TV presenter Carol Smillie, the study shows.

Women in their twenties and early thirties are most likely to seek breast enlargement operations.

Tummy tucks and liposuction are favoured by women in their late thirties and those in their forties are most likely to demand a face lift.

The survey was commissioned by The Lanark Centre, a London-based cosmetic surgery clinic, and based on women under the age of 40.

In the past decade cosmetic surgery has become a more lucrative market and patient numbers rose 8.3% between 1996 and 1997.

Women from the south are more likely to submit to the surgeon's knife, with a third considering cosmetic enhancement compared with a quarter of northern women.

Lifestyle needs

More than 50,000 people in the UK underwent cosmetic surgery in 1997.

Carol Smillie and Frank Skinner
Carol Smillie and Frank Skinner after winning the Rear of the Year award
Of those, one in three patients had reduction, 31% had breast enhancements, 19% face lifts and 11% rhinoplasty (nose reshaping).

Ahmed Jawad, chief surgeon at the Lanark Centre, said: "We can usually predict, from the age and lifestyle of the patients, the cosmetic procedure of their choice.

"Young single women, who want to look as attractive as possible, are most likely to want breast augmentation.

"And for women in their thirties, who may have had children and then are beginning to consider their own needs again, liposuction and tummy tucks are possible on the list, once they discover diets didn't work as well as they once did.

"Career women in their forties, who at times may feel threatened by their younger colleagues, are fighting back with face lifts."

Mr Jawad said that until recently, plastic surgery was more prevalent in the US and was only really heard of among celebrities.

"But now everyone wants to realise their full potential in terms of their features and physique, so demand is rising.

"Combined with this is the fact that costs have come down considerably over the last 10 years and procedures are quicker, safer and much less painful," he said.

Access Omnibus Surveys interviewed 1,242 women aged between 15 and 40 living in the UK.

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