Plastic surgery trends: where we put our money in 2012

asaps-stats-cover-lgYou’re a fashion junkie but Anna Wintour and her skinny cohorts elbowed you out of front row at fashion week. Not to worry. There’s more to fashion than clothes. In fact, some fashion trends can be seen only when you’re in the buff. The 2012 National Totals for Cosmetic Procedures, hot off the press from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), tells you exactly which facial features and body parts Americans spent their hard-earned dollars on last year.

Where do the eyes go?

The winner and champion of all surgical procedures, breast augmentation, has regained its status in 2012 as the leading surgical procedure in the United States (after slipping back into second position in 2011). This is no surprise; with today’s low cut and scooped out tops, you put your best breasts forward along with your face. Also, this might reflect our delight at the return of silicone gel implants to the market in 2006, bigger and better than ever.

There were 330,631 breast augmentations performed in 2012 compared with 316,848 in 2011. Last year’s frontrunner, liposuction, had 313,011 procedures in 2012 compared with 325,332 procedures in 2011. Conclusion: American women realized that when eyes get stuck on magnificent cleavage, they don’t travel down. Further, in terms of the demise of liposuction, there are some new and cutting edge noninvasive body sculpting techniques that 76,612 people tried out in 2012 before they resorted to liposuction (including CoolSculpting, Vaser Shape, and Liposonix). Question: how many of these people will revert to liposuction next year?

Speaking of the face…

With the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn and the million and one dating sites that put your picture upfront and forward, nobody’s ignoring the face. The tried and true facelift went from 116,086 procedures in 2011 to 119,006 procedures in 2012. This is especially significant when you consider the other million and one facial noninvasive injectable, laser, and other skin tightening procedures women have been spending money on, including the reigning queen of injectables…….Botulinum Toxin Type A (otherwise known as Botox or Dysport), which, BTW, skyrocketed from 2,619,739 procedures in 2011 to 3,257,913 procedures in 2012.

The other facial development is the reemergence of the nose job. In spite of Barbra Streisand, who we love, rhinoplasty increased from 126,107 procedures in 2011 to 143,801 procedures in 2012. But it is interesting to note that otoplasty (ear surgery) also increased. Both rhinoplasty and otoplasty procedures made headlines in 2012 when some parents agreed to these procedures to avoid having their children bullied by peers.

Let’s not forget the stronger sex

Men are not only removing body hair, they are also tending to their overdeveloped breasts. Gynecomastia (male breast reduction), which oddly sounds like gynecology, has had a very healthy growth from 17,645 procedures in 2011 to 22,736 in 2012. The vagina is also gaining some surgical notoriety. Vaginal rejuvenation grew from 2,142 procedures in 2011 to 3,521 procedures in 2012.

Surgeries related to weight loss

With our focus on obesity, bariatric surgery and the extreme skin laxity that follows dramatic weight loss, plastic surgeons have had their hands full. Lower body lift rose from 9,175 to 10,119, abdominoplasty rose dramatically from 149,410 surgeries in 2011 to 156,508 surgeries in 2012, upper arm lift rose from 18,709 to 22,969 and thigh lift from 13,878 to 16,517.

The most frequently performed surgical procedure was breast augmentation. Cosmetic surgical procedures increased more than 3% in the past year, with almost 1.7 million procedures in 2012. Surgery accounted for 17% of all procedures performed representing 61% of total patient expenditures. The top five surgical procedures were:

•Breast Augmentation: 330,631

•Liposuction: 313,011

•Abdominoplasty: 156,508

•Eyelid surgery: 153,171

•Rhinoplasty: 143,801

“In 2012, breast augmentation replaced liposuction as the most popular surgical procedure. This might have something to do with the increased popularity in silicone gel implants since their return to the market in 2006,” said Leo R. McCafferty, MD, President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “According to the Society’s statistics in 2006, 383,886 breast augmentation procedures were performed and of those 81% were saline implants and 19% were silicone. In 2012, 330,631 breast augmentation procedures were performed and of those only 28% were saline implants and 72% were silicone.”

Women had more than 9.1 million cosmetic procedures, 90% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for women increased over 252% from 1997. The top five surgical procedures for women were: breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and breast lift.

Men had almost 1 million cosmetic procedures, 10% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 106% from 1997. The top five surgical procedures for men were: liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction to treat enlarged male breast, and ear shaping.

Americans spent almost $11 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2012. Of that total $6.7 billion was spent on surgical procedures; $2 billion was spent on injectable procedures; $1.8 billion was spent on skin rejuvenation procedures; and over $483 million was spent on other nonsurgical procedures, including laser hair removal and laser treatment of leg veins.

The most popular nonsurgical procedure was injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A (including Botox and Dysport). Cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increased over 10 percent in the past year, with almost 8.5 million procedures in 2012. Nonsurgical procedures accounted for 83% of the total number of procedures performed representing 39% of total expenditures. The top five minimally-invasive procedures were:

• Botulinum Toxin Type A: 3,257,913

•Hyaluronic Acid: 1,423,705

•Laser Hair Removal: 883,893

• Microdermabrasion: 498,821

•Chemical Peel: 443,824

This is the second year this survey asked the doctors for the total number of non-surgical procedures being performed in their practices by BOTH physicians and their physician assistants and nurse injectors. When procedures performed by physician assistants and nurse injectors are included, the total number of cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed in the United States in 2012 increases to 12.7 million. Below is the TOTAL number of procedures performed in the practices surveyed:

• Botulinum Toxin Type A: 4,125,179

•Hyaluronic Acid: 1,806,806

•Laser Hair Removal: 1,224,920

•Chemical Peel: 718,465

• Microdermabrasion: 672,430

The Aesthetic Society, which has collected plastic surgery procedural statistics since 1997, says the overall number of cosmetic procedures has increased 250% since the tracking of the statistics first began. “We are confident that these statistics continue to accurately report cosmetic procedure trends as performed by the physicians who are most likely to perform them,” said Dr. McCafferty, MD. “For the past 16 years, the interest in and demand for cosmetic plastic surgery has risen exponentially, a 250% increase in surgical and nonsurgical procedures, and our comprehensive statistics continue to show that.”

The Aesthetic Society partnered with RealSelf, the most visited online community for learning about and sharing information and results for medical-beauty treatments, to get information on patients’ first-hand experience with procedures. The RealSelf ‘Worth It Rating’ printed in the statistics report reflects the combined opinions of thousands of RealSelf community members. Each member shares whether an elective surgery or treatment was “worth it”, all things considered.

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