Survey Taps Top Markets For Regional Plastic Surgery Data

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Plastic Surgery

Regional trends in plastic surgery patients and procedures differ and they do not always match that of national trends, according to a recent survey.

Regional trends in plastic surgery patients and procedures differ and they do not always match that of national trends, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). ASPS Member Surgeons located in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. (including Baltimore, Md.) were surveyed on how their practices compared to the 2006 ASPS national procedural data.

Upon closer examination in these major metropolitan areas, ASPS found a higher percentage of male patients as well as younger patients compared to national figures. This survey also reported increases in ethnic groups; however, nationally the ASPS reported slight decreases in certain ethnic groups from 2005 to 2006.

Additionally, all four markets reported an increase in the following trends over the past three years: couples/families having surgery together, patients seeking minimally invasive procedures in lieu of surgery, and massive weight loss patients seeking body contouring procedures.

Since 1992, the ASPS has been the source of the most comprehensive and reliable cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery national statistical trends in the U.S. This is the first time the ASPS has conducted a regionally focused survey.

"We took the pulse in these large regional markets to see who the typical plastic surgery patient is compared to what we've found nationally," said Michael McGuire, MD, ASPS Vice President of Communications. "We discovered interesting nuances between the cities. For instance, while breast augmentation ranked 1st in all four markets, surprisingly a higher percentage of ASPS Member Surgeons in the Midwest -- Chicago -- ranked this procedure the highest as opposed to Los Angeles with its appearance-driven stereotype."

Key Differences in Procedures:*

-- Eyelid surgery among women ranked significantly higher among respondents in Los Angeles (33%) than in Dallas (12%).

-- Male breast reduction ranked significantly higher among respondents in Dallas (88%) than in Los Angeles (42%).

-- Laser hair removal ranked significantly higher among respondents in Washington, D.C./Baltimore (34%) than in Chicago (6%).

Conversely, with certain procedures these markets revealed similarities but differed in comparison with national statistics. For instance, tummy tuck ranked in the top three in these markets among women but ranked 5th nationally. Breast reduction in women ranked in the top two in these markets, but ranked 5th nationally. Among men, nose reshaping ranked either 3rd or 4th in these markets but ranked 1st nationally. Also among men, liposuction ranked 1st in these markets but ranked 3rd nationally.

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Key Findings in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery:

-- Scar revision ranked significantly higher among respondents in Los Angeles (70%) than in Chicago (22%).*

-- A higher percentage of respondents in Chicago (16%) and Washington, D.C./Baltimore (21%) reported a decrease in plastic surgery patients in the last three years with lawnmower injuries than in Dallas (4%) and Los Angeles (6%).

-- All four markets reported a decrease in plastic surgery patients with fireworks injuries in the last three years.

-- The highest percentage of respondents reporting a decrease in plastic surgery patients with dog bite injuries in the last three years was Chicago (34%).

"We're so pleased to see a decrease in these terrible, preventable injuries that often involve children," said Dr. McGuire. "The data is promising, but more research needs to be done so we can better understand trends in both reconstructive plastic surgery as well as cosmetic procedures."

Key Findings in Patient Demographics:

-- A significant percentage of respondents in Chicago (56%), Dallas (67%) and Los Angeles (67%) reported an increase in Hispanic patients in the last three years. Nationally, ASPS reported a 1% decrease from 2005 to 2006.

-- A significant percentage of respondents in Washington, D.C./Baltimore (60%) reported an increase in African American patients in the last three years. Nationally, ASPS reported a 1% decrease from 2005 to 2006.

-- Ethnic patients represented a significantly higher mean percentage in Los Angeles (40%) than in both Chicago (26%) and Dallas (28%).

-- The average percentage breakdown of male patients among the four markets was 21%. Nationally, ASPS reported male patients comprised 10% of total cosmetic plastic surgery patients in 2006.

-- More than 50% of ASPS Member Surgeons in all four markets reported an increase in males seeking cosmetic plastic surgery in the last three years.

-- On average the highest percentage of patients were 31 to 45 years old (31%). Nationally, the highest percentage of patients fell in the 40 to 54 age group (45%).

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