By Sadie Nicholas
Hourglass figure: Jennifer Finemore is delighted with her new shape
Young mum Jennifer Finemore takes pride in her healthy lifestyle, and the lean, athletic body it has helped her achieve. So it is understandable that she grew frustrated with stubborn areas of fat on her flanks - the lower half of her back - that refused to budge.
'I've always been body-conscious and active and a consistent size 12, slim for my 5ft 10in frame,' says Jennifer, 29, who is divorced and lives in Leicestershire with her children Bradley, six, and Trinity, four.
'I began to obsess about my muffin top and tried crash diets, but while I got skinnier everywhere else, my back fat remained. It was the only thing I saw when I looked in the mirror.'
Exasperated, a year ago Jennifer had liposuction to extract more than three-and-a-half pints of fat from her back and thighs.
It may sound like drastic action, but The Harley Medical Group, the UK's largest cosmetic surgery provider, has reported an astonishing 54 per cent increase in women having liposuction to remove deposits of fat from their backs last year.
They call it 'the Mad Men effect', with scores of British women trying to mimic the hourglass silhouettes of the stars of the US show, set in the Sixties.
Surgeon Marco Moraci says: 'Waists were smaller 50 years ago, as most thirty-something women who have tried to fit into their mothers' old dresses will know.
'Women of the Sixties wore corsetry but research shows people today are thicker
round the middle. A combination of diet and an inactive lifestyle is usually to blame.
Infra-scapular fat - the female flanks - can be found on women who are otherwise slim. This is usually down to genetics.
'We're born with a number of fat cells but they're distributed differently, hence one person may gain weight around their middle and another on their thighs. Most patients wanting to reduce their back fat are in good shape otherwise.
'We don't know why, but the body holds on to these fat deposits as an emergency reserve. Only by becoming severely underweight can you naturally get rid of it,' he says.
Liposuction involves making an incision to the fatty area into which a tube about 3mm in diameter is inserted. A solution of 95 per cent water and the rest anaesthetic is released into the area to liquefy the fat so it can be drawn out.
'Once fat cells are removed, fat won't deposit in that area again, or not to the same extent. But this treatment is suitable only for people who are slim, healthy and have good skin, not those who have lost a lot of weight and whose skin has lost elasticity.
Thrilled with the results: Jennifer's waist before and after the procedure
'For liposuction to be effective there needs to be skin retraction - where it shrinks back into place once the fat has been removed. Otherwise a patient will be left with loose skin like an empty bag,' says Moraci.
'It is the ideal procedure for getting rid of stubborn pockets of fat, which is exactly what back fat is,' he says.
It was when Jennifer got divorced 18 months ago that she first considered the surgery, which cost £4,500.
'I was desperate to feel better about myself,' she says. 'Then a friend had liposuction on her thighs and said it was the best thing that had ever happened to her self-confidence, so I decided to take the plunge.'
Four weeks after a consultation at The Harley Medical Group in Nottingham in April 2010, Jennifer went to its London clinic for the hour-long surgical procedure.
The Joan Harris effect: Mad Men siren Christina Hendricks has become the poster girl for the hourglass figure
'Although I was impressed with the surgeon's CV, and was certain I wanted the procedure, I was a little nervous too,' says Jennifer.
'Any surgery carries risks and as a mother that was something I had to contemplate, particularly as I was having a general anaesthetic,' she says.
'The surgeon reassured me that because I'm fit and healthy, don't smoke and rarely drink, any risk was very low.
'The bruising and pain weren't as bad as I'd expected and my back felt much smoother and leaner when I ran my hands over the compression garment I had to wear for six weeks to aid the process.
'Once the swelling had subsided I was thrilled with the results, more so because I'd dropped a dress size to a ten.'