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Cosmetic Surgery Is on the Rise

Number of Procedures Jumped 20% in 2003, With Liposuction Leading the List

WebMD Health News

Feb. 20, 2004 -- Americans are getting extreme and not-so-extreme makeovers en masse, according to newly released statistics, which show that the number of cosmetic procedures jumped 20% in 2003 -- that's about 8.3 million procedures.

"Last year, people may have been holding off because of the economy, 9/11, and the war, and maybe now we are inured to some of the bad news and feeling better about the economy, so we are more willing to part with our money and psychologically more willing and able to undergo cosmetic procedures," says White Plains, N.Y.-based plastic surgeon Robert Bernard, MD, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the group that complied and released the new statistics.

The number of surgical procedures increased 12% from 2002, while the number of nonsurgical procedures increased 22%, according to the new statistics.

The top five surgical cosmetic procedures in 2003 were:

The top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in 2003 were:

  • Botox injection, up 37%
  • Laser hair removal, up 25%
  • Microdermabrasion, down 17%
  • Chemical peel, up 46%
  • Collagen injection, down 21%

Other nonsurgical procedures will likely increase further in the coming years due to the advent of new wrinkle-removing fillers, Bernard predicts for WebMD. The FDA approved Restylane on Dec. 12, 2003, for the treatment of moderate to severe wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Restylane is made with hyaluronic acid, which is a substance normally found in the skin that adds volume and fullness to the skin. Others are expected to be approved in the near future, he says.

In terms of age:

  • People aged 35-50 had the most procedures, 45% of the total.
  • People aged 19-34 had 24%;
  • People aged 51-64 had 23%;
  • People aged 65 and over had 5%;
  • And people aged 18 and younger had less than 3%.

Venus and Mars

Women are more than twice as likely as men to consider plastic surgery, and this gap may be widening. Specifically, 34% of women polled in a new ASAPS survey said they would consider cosmetic surgery, compared with 14% of men. Men and women aged 45 to 54 comprised the age group most likely to consider cosmetic surgery.

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