Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

Cosmetic surgeons feel the pinch

Operating theatre
Cosmetic surgery is facing cuts because of the economic situation

Women are putting cosmetic surgery on hold until economic gloom lifts, a leading doctor claims.

Anthony Erian said specialist clinics offering cosmetic surgery had become the latest victims of recession.

One private hospital near Cambridge where he was principal surgeon had already closed and demand for cosmetic surgery had halved in the past year.

"People are saying that cosmetic surgery is a luxury they cannot afford at the moment," he said.

Mr Erian, a plastic surgeon for 29 years, said: "There is a downturn of 50% across the board.

"They're having the same problem in America. Who would have thought that American plastic surgeons would be looking for work in Dubai and the UK - but they are.

"I don't think the industry will die. There will always be a demand. It's a matter of riding out the storm."

Mr Erian, who has worked in Europe and America, has a practice in Harley Street, London, and was principal surgeon at The Cambridge Private Hospital until it closed in December.

Mr Erian said plastic surgery was no longer an option only for the rich.

"Many years ago it was only the rich could afford it but that's not the case now.

"It is quite affordable for a lot of people but with the economic situation as it is people have to make a decision."

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