Breast augmentation is still most popular and the facelift is on an upswing

April 4, 2011

Breast augmentation is still most popular and the facelift is on an upswing
Breast augmentation is still most popular and the facelift is on an upswing

As the S&P 500, Dow Jones and NASDAQ goeth, so goeth cosmetic surgery procedures. In 2010, both the stock market and increase in cosmetic surgeries mirrored a reviving economy. "We've joked for years that we could create an economic indicator about how we're booked," said Felmont Eaves, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

According to the April 5th Wall Street Journal, “More than 1.6 million Americans went under the knife for beauty in 2010, receiving breast implants, liposuction or facelifts, sending the rate of cosmetic surgeries up almost 9% from the prior year.” In addition to demonstrating economic recovery this upsurge may indicate the current trend to improve one’s appearance just to remain competitive in a tight job market.

But workplace competition, other than Hooter’s and similar establishments, does not explain why breast augmentation was the most popular surgical procedure in 2010. Actually, the recession never halted the wave of breast augmentation, which has been the leading procedure for the past 3 years, increasing by 2% in 2010. The other most popular 2010 procedures, which all exceeded their 2009 performance, are in descending order, liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and breast reduction.

Until 2008, liposuction was the most popular procedure, but since 2007 the number of liposuction surgeries has fallen 37%. The reason for this plummet is not apparent, but Dr. Eaves has seen a slight increase in thigh lifts and arm lifts, procedures that might yield similar results.

Who could project the whopping 35% increase in facelifts over 2009? This healthy rebound may point to those consumers who became disenchanted with nonsurgical skin tightening or simply aware of its limitations. Instead, they invested in tried, true and long-lasting facial rejuvenation. In 2010, Americans spent $845 million on facelifts despite the flood of noninvasive treatments that are advertised daily.

Women still hold a strong lead as plastic surgery consumers, accounting for 91% of cosmetic surgeries in 2010. But men are beginning to frown on frown lines and back hair, since they accounted for 8% of all Botox injections and laser hair removal treatments in 2010.

The Aesthetic Society statistics demonstrate a decrease in minimally invasive procedures, but that is most likely because the survey includes only board-certified plastic surgeons. A large number of these procedures are performed by physician’s assistants and nurses. Botox and Dysport lead the pack in nonsurgical procedures. According to the report, more than 7.7 million people underwent nonsurgical procedures in 2010.

Like many other practices that used to be kept secret, plastic surgery is coming out of the closet. Sixty-seven percent of Americans would not be embarrassed if their friends and family knew they had cosmetic surgery.

For a complete range of 2010 cosmetic surgery statistics, visit surgery.org. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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