Plastic surgery on the rise among Americans

Published on February 13, 2012 at 5:26 PM · No Comments

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

According to a new report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery is on the rise for the second year in a row among Americans.

13.8 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2011, a 5% increase on the year before. The authors added that by the end of 2011, the number of total plastic surgeries had grown for 24 consecutive months. These figures include both minimally-invasive and surgical procedures. The ASPS informs that 5.5 additional reconstructive procedures were carried out in 2011, also a 5% increase on the previous year.

ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, said, “While the rate of economic recovery in the U.S. is still uncertain, 2011 proved to be a good year for plastic surgery. Consumer confidence was up, auto sales rose 10 percent, so it is not surprising that we would also see increased demand for plastic surgery procedures.”

1.6 cosmetic procedures were performed in 2011, a 2% increase over the previous year. Breast implants were performed in 307,000 (rise of 4%), Rhinoplasty (nose job) in 244,000 (reduction of 3%), Liposuction in 205,000 (rise of 1%), Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) in 196,000 (drop of 6%) and Rhytidectomy (facelift) in 119,000 (rise of 5%). Chin augmentations, also known as "chin implants", rose 71% to 21,000 procedures in 2011. Lip enhancement increased by 49% to 25,000 procedures carried out last year.

Dr. Roth said, “We are seeing notable increases in surgical procedures, such as facelifts, that reflect the demands of an aging ‘boomer’ population. However, the overall growth in cosmetic procedures is being primarily driven by a substantial rise in minimally-invasive procedures.”

There were 12.2 million minimally-invasive procedures last year, a rise of 6%. The procedures include Botox in 5.7 million (rise of 5%), Soft tissue filler in 1.9 million (rise of 7%), Chemical peel in 1.1 million (fall of 3%), Laser hair removal in 1.1 million (rise of 15%) and Microdermabrasion in 900,000 (rise of 9%). Among the increases that stood out in 2011 for minimally-invasive procedures were soft tissue fillers, such as calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse®), fat injections, and hyaluronic acid (Restylane®, Juvederm Ultra®).

The number of reconstructive plastic surgery procedures increased by 5% in 2011 compared to the previous year. The top five procedures were removal of a tumor in 4.2 million (rise of 3%), Laceration repair in 303,000 (drop of 15%), Maxillofacial surgery in 195,000 (rise of 125%), Scar revision in 175,000 (rise of 9%) and Hand surgery in 120,000 (rise of 13%). There were 96,000 breast reconstruction procedures in 2011, a rise of 3% compared to the previous year.

Dr. Roth said, “While insurance coverage for breast reconstruction is mandated by law, continued strides to provide coverage for other reconstructive procedures has contributed, in part, to the sizable gain that we are seeing with these procedures. Reconstructive surgery is a critical pillar of the specialty, and it is encouraging to see that increasing numbers of patients entrust board-certified plastic surgeons to reconstruct their bodies after disease or trauma.”

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery says more people are getting information about plastic surgery from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

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