With the economy turning around, more men and women are opting plastic surgery. According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2010, up 5 percent from the previous year.
Only 11.9 percent of this total or 1.5 million procedures were surgically related. Seventy percent of cosmetic surgical procedures were accounted for by just 5 procedures:
- Breast Augmentation, +2%
- Nose Reshaping, -1%
- Eyelid Surgery, +3%
- Liposuction, +2%
- Tummy Tuck, +1%
The average surgeons’ fee for these top cosmetic procedures ranged from a low of $2,828 for eyelid surgery to a high of $5,130 for a tummy tuck.
All surgical body contouring procedures, i.e., breast lifts (90,000 procedures, +3%), lower body lifts (10,000 procedures, +9%), upper arm lifts (15,000 procedures, +5%) and thigh lifts (9,000 procedures, +8%), experienced growth in 2010. With an increasingly overweight and obese population, interest in these procedures is likely to grow as most are undertaken after massive weight loss (typically through gastric bypass/lap band surgery).
As in previous years, the majority of cosmetic procedures were associated with minimally-invasive injectable and filler procedures. The top 5 in 2010 were:
- Botox, +12%
- Soft Tissue Fillers±, +3%
- Chemical Peel, no change
- Laser Hair Removal, +5%
- Microdermabrasion, -9%
±Note: Soft tissue fillers include Radiesse, collagen, fat, Juvederm, Perlane, Restylane, Sculptra, Artefill
With their limited downtime and lower price relative to surgery, injectables and fillers have continued to fare well despite the recession. The average price ranged from a low of $146 for microdermabrasion to a high of $1,099 for Artefill, with most fillers costing $375 to $650.
Not surprisingly, the majority of cosmetic procedures are performed on women (87%). While most of the popular procedures grew around 2-5%, facelifts were an exception. Almost 113,000 facelifts were performed in 2010, up 9 percent from the previous year. For women opting for breast implants, 60 percent chose silicone implants (vs. saline).
Although men accounted for just 13 percent of cosmetic procedures, their numbers are growing. Over 200,000 liposuction procedures were performed on men, a growth of 7 percent from 2009. Almost 113,000 men had a facelift, 14 percent more than the previous year. Eyelid surgery grew by 4 percent with over 200,000 procedures performed on men in 2010.
Aging baby boomers, those 45 to 54 years of age, accounted for the largest group seeking plastic surgery (48%). But, those over 55 years and 30 to 39 years also accounted for a big chunk of these aesthetic services. Not surprisingly, mature adults were more likely to have procedures done on the face such as dermabrasion, eyelid surgery, facelift, forehead lift, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing and soft tissue fillers. Younger patients were more likely to have breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (nose job), laser hair removal and laser treatment of leg veins.
If you want to surround yourself with beautiful people then visit the West. The Mountain/Pacific region accounted for almost one third of all cosmetic procedures in 2010. The Central states had the lowest number of procedures performed.
The majority of cosmetic procedures were performed on Caucasians, accounting for 70 percent of the total. Ethnic groups differed by most commonly requested procedures. In African-Americans, the most popular surgical procedure was breast augmentation. In Asian-Americans and Hispanics, it was breast augmentation.
Reconstructive procedures like tumor removal, laceration repair, scar revision, hand surgery and breast reconstruction accounted for another 5.3 million procedures, up 2 percent from 2009.
The Bottom Line
What was once considered a luxury – plastic surgery – is now considered a necessity to compete in an increasingly competitive workplace. In addition, our expectation of how we will look as we grow old has changed. Aging baby boomers don’t necessarily want to look like they did at 20 years old. But, they want to look the best they can whatever their age.
Cosmetic procedures are just one of many tools in your toolbox to keep you looking young. Other tools include a healthy diet and exercise. Whatever you can do now to stave off the aging process, by eating a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake, will serve you well down the road regardless if you opt to have a nip or a tuck.
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.