2002 ASAPS Statistics: Nearly 6.9 Million Cosmetic Procedures

New York, NY (March 4, 2003) — Nearly 6.9 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2002, according to statistics released today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Compared to 2001, surgical procedures increased 1% to 1.6 million, while nonsurgical procedures declined 23% to 5.3 million. ASAPS, which annually conducts the nation's most authoritative survey of U.S. physicians performing cosmetic surgery, says the overall number of cosmetic procedures has increased 228% since 1997.

"Last year's increase in surgical procedures, while small, speaks to people's strong motivation for making positive changes in their lives -- despite worries about the economy and world tensions," says Franklin DiSpaltro, MD, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, founded in 1967 as the only plastic surgery organization devoted exclusively to cosmetic surgery education and research.

Among the most significant increases in the surgical category for 2002, compared to the previous year, were abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), up 17%; breast augmentation, up 15%; breast reduction, up 9%; facelift, up 6%; and breast lift, up 4%.

Surgical procedures accounted for 23.5% of all cosmetic procedures, while nonsurgical procedures were 76.5% of the total. Dr. DiSpaltro says that part of the reason for the higher number of nonsurgical procedures is that popular treatments such as Botox, collagen injections and microdermabrasion must be repeated on a regular basis in order to maintain their benefits.

"Nonsurgical procedures are playing an important role in modern plastic surgery practice, but patients need to understand that these noninvasive treatments cannot achieve the same or as long-lasting results as a surgical procedure," says Dr. DiSpaltro. "However, in many instances, nonsurgical procedures can be beneficial in helping to enhance and maintain the results of surgical improvements. For younger patients, nonsurgical procedures may sometimes allow them to delay more extensive surgery a while longer, letting them 'hold the line' against wrinkles with a variety of soft tissue fillers, Botox and skin resurfacing treatments."


Top Surgical Procedures
The five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in 2002 were lipoplasty (liposuction), 372,831; breast augmentation, 249,641; eyelid surgery, 229,092; rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), 156,973; and breast reduction (females), 125,614. (Note that breast reduction may be covered by insurance, depending on terms of the policy and individual patient factors.)

Six new surgical procedures were added to the ASAPS survey for 2002. These included umbilicoplasty (belly button enhancement) and breast nipple enlargement, both of which have been reported as "trends" by the media. ASAPS statistics show that the actual number of these procedures was extremely small, with umbilicoplasty ranking 32nd (2,082 procedures) and breast nipple enlargement ranking 35th (540 procedures) among the 36 procedures surveyed.

Since 1997, the number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the U.S. has increased 67%, according to ASAPS statistics.

Top Nonsurgical Procedures
The top five nonsurgical procedures were botulinum toxin injection (Botox), 1,658,667; microdermabrasion, 1,032,417; collagen injection, 783,120; laser hair removal, 736,458; and chemical peel, 495,415.

Botox injection continued to rank first among all cosmetic procedures, increasing a modest 4% since 2001 but more than 2400% since 1997. Microdermabrasion, a procedure that uses fine crystals to gently polish the skin, showed the highest one-year gain of any nonsurgical procedure, up 13%.

Gender Distribution
Males had 12% (807,692) of all cosmetic procedures, while females had 88% (6,081,857) of the total. The percentage of procedures attributable to males and females respectively was virtually unchanged from 2001. The top surgical procedure for both men and women was lipoplasty (liposuction).

Age Distribution
Among five designated age groups included in the survey, the greatest number of procedures (44%) was performed on people ages 35 to 50, with lipoplasty (liposuction) being the most popular surgery and Botox injection the most popular nonsurgical treatment. Those 18 years old and younger accounted for just over 3% of cosmetic procedures, down slightly from 2001. Among this age group, nonsurgical procedures including chemical peel, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal were the most popular. The most frequently performed surgical procedure for people 18 and under was ear reshaping, often done on very young children, and nose reshaping. Men and women 65 and older had 5% of procedures, with eyelid surgery as the top surgical procedure and Botox injection the most popular nonsurgical treatment in this age group.

Racial and Ethnic Distribution
Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 19% of all cosmetic surgery procedures, an overall 2% increase from 2001: Hispanics, 8%; African-Americans, 5%; Asians, 4%; and other non-Caucasians, 2%.

ASAPS Members Performed Highest Number of Procedures Per Doctor
Among all physician groups surveyed, members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery performed the highest average number of cosmetic procedures per doctor (623 procedures) in 2002. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of ASAPS members operated in an accredited surgical facility (a requirement for ASAPS membership as of July 2002, with temporary extensions currently granted only for members in the process of accreditation). ASAPS members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and specialize in cosmetic surgery of the face and body.

About the ASAPS Survey
ASAPS, working with an independent research firm, compiled 6-year data for procedures performed 1997-2002 by multiple specialists, including plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery; head and neck surgeons certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology; and dermatologists certified by the American Board of Dermatology. More than 14,000 questionnaires were mailed nationwide to a random sampling of physicians most likely to perform several or more of the 36 top cosmetic procedures. Results of the survey were used to project national data on the number of cosmetic procedures performed in 2002 by nearly 23,000 physicians.


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 nonsurgical 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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