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Cosmetic Surgery Is on the Rise

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

The J-Lo Effect

Buttock augmentation increased by 533% in 2003 to 3,885 procedures, the new statistics show. "It definitely could be influenced by J-lo," says Reed. Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is known for her generous buttocks, and so are some other pop stars like Grammy-award winner Beyonce Knowles.

"In general, the new stats show that the economy is getting better," Reed says. "Last year, nonsurgical procedures increased more because they are less expensive, but now that the economy is better, they are opting for surgical procedures," he says.

Risks Should Not be Underestimated

Recently, the death of novelist Olivia Goldsmith, who suffered a heart attack as she went under anesthesia for a procedure to remove loose skin from her chin, cast light on the fact that cosmetic surgery is surgery and does, in fact, come with real risks.

"Doctors should discuss risks, complications, and alternatives to surgery so their patients have a full understanding of the consequences of what they are contemplating," Bernard says. "Patients come in and they know the routine because they are seeing more than one doctor and are talking to friends who say, 'don't tell the doctor this or they won't operate,' so some people will withhold information," he says.

And they don't realize they are doing themselves a disservice, Bernard adds.

For example, the doctor asks, "do you smoke?" And you say "No," but you are really a pack-a-day smoker. This affects the risk and possibly the types of surgery you choose, he says.

To make sure you get the best possible outcome, always choose a board-certified plastic surgeon and "don't to go into a plastic surgeon's office with a preconceived idea of the procedure," he says. "Go in and have conversation with plastic surgeon and tell him what you perceive as a problem, and have a dialogue with the doctor."

To find a board-certified plastic surgeon near you, visit the ASAPS web site at www.surgery.org.

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