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Cosmetic Surgery, Botox Use Up in 2010


Here is a sign the economy may be turning around: the number of cosmetic surgery cases rose 5 percent in 2010, up from 2009, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Topping the nonsurgical category were the use of Botox® and Dysport® injections, which were up 14 percent.

Breast augmentation tops the cosmetic surgery list

People in the United States underwent 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in 2010, plus more than 5.3 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures, a category that also saw a 2 percent increase over 2009. Items typically included in the reconstructive plastic surgery category include cleft palate and lip repairs, ear repairs, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, and scar revisions.

The degree of increase varied according to the cosmetic procedure performed. For example, while surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic plastic surgery procedures overall rose 5 percent, the increase was 2 percent among the subgroup of surgical techniques. Topping the list was breast augmentation, with 296,000 procedures done in 2010. Nose reshaping followed a relatively close second (252,000), with eyelid surgery (209,000), liposuction (203,000), and tummy tucks (116,000) rounding out the top five.

In the minimally invasive category, the number of facelifts performed in 2010 rose 9 percent to nearly 113,000 procedures. That was not enough for it to make the top five list, however, which was headed by Botox injections at 5.4 million. The next four included soft tissue fillers (1.8 million), chemical peels (1.1 million), laser hair removal (938,000), and microdermabrasion (825,000).

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Surgical procedures that help reshape the body, especially popular among individuals who have lost a great deal of weight, also increased. Lower body lifts were up 9 percent; thigh lifts, 8 percent; upper arm lifts, 5 percent; and breast lifts, 3 percent.

The top five reconstructive surgery procedures had a new entry in 2010—breast reconstruction, with 93,000 procedures performed. Tumor removal topped the list with 4 million procedures, followed by laceration repair (357,000), scar revision (161,000), and hand surgery (106,000), often done for people who have carpal tunnel syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis.

One reason for the increase in breast reconstruction may be the ASPS’s public education campaign to inform women who undergo a mastectomy about their breast reconstruction options. This campaign was sparked by the findings of a survey conducted by the ASPS in 2009 in which they found that nearly 70 percent of women who are eligible for breast reconstruction are not informed about their options.

According to ASPS President Philip Haeck, MD, as the economy improves, more people are opening up their wallets to spend money on cosmetic surgery procedures. “All indications are, more consumers are again willing to spend more to look better.”

American Society of Plastic Surgeons