The advertisements for cosmetic surgery in glossy magazines are undeniably seductive - the clinics appear high-class, the pictures show women with fabulous figures and then there's the lure of "easy-term"' payments. Yet how many of the thousands of patients who go under the knife in London each year - especially impressionable young women - find themselves convinced by a surgeon that they should spend a fortune on a procedure they don't really need?
Sophie Harris is 22 and has an enviable size-10 figure. Although she cites her thighs as
"a little chunky but muscular with hardly any fat" she adds: "It's not a problem and I'm quite happy to wear a bikini. I've never considered having liposuction."
But just how happy would surgeons be to subject her to surgery and take her money if she told them it was a niggling concern - and how confident would Sophie feel about the advice they gave her? We sent Sophie to four advertised clinics in Harley Street to find out. But first we asked one of London's premier cosmetic surgeons, Jan Stanek, for his view.
Mr Stanek says: "Liposuction to the inner thighs makes very little difference unless there are big lumps of fat and can cause problems as the skin is very thin in that area. If you remove the 'support' you can accelerate the ageing process as skin becomes less elastic and is likely to sag.
"If the thighs are strong and muscular there is little one can do - liposuction only works well if you have 'saddlebags' of fat on the outer thighs and on the backs of them. Some clinics prey on people's insecurities, and I hope Sophie is told to save her money and concentrate on specific exercises to tone her legs - that's the only advice I would give her.''
Original article on the Evening Standard