Cosmetic Plastic Surgeries on the Rise

Nips, Tucks, Lifts, and Other Cosmetic Procedures Up as U.S. Economy Improves

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on February 07, 2011
From the WebMD Archives

Feb. 8, 2011 -- Facelifts, breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures have rebounded sharply along with an uptick in the U.S. economy, according to a new report.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) says cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, minimally invasive or surgical, rose 5% to 13.1 million in 2010 compared to the previous year.

Also, 5.3 million reconstructive plastic surgeries were done in 2010, up 2% from 2009.

Rising Consumer Confidence Spurs Increase in Plastic Surgery

According to the ASPS news release, the increase in such procedures mirrors a rise in consumer confidence during 2010.

The top five cosmetic surgical procedures were:

“The economy is showing signs of improvement and, financially, things are a little better for people this year,” says Phillip Haeck, MD, president of the ASPC. “The financial markets are at a two-year high, we’re seeing a double-digit increase in the percentage of auto sales over a year ago, and as the aging population continues to grow, people are investing in plastic surgery procedures to help stay competitive in the workplace.”

The organization’s report says facelifts, which had previously flat growth rates since 2007, rose 9% in 2010 to nearly 113,000 procedures.

Breast augmentations rose 2%, with silicone implants used in 60% of the procedures.

Body Contouring on the Rise

All surgical body contouring procedures were up in 2010, according to the APSC. For example, there were:

  • 90,000 breast lifts, which was a 3% rise
  • 10,000 lower body lifts, up 9%
  • 15,000 upper arm lifts, up 5%
  • 9,000 thigh lifts, up 8%

Many such procedures are being requested by patients who lose massive amounts of weight, the report says.

“There’s some pent-up demand for cosmetic surgical procedures,” Haeck says. “People have waited a couple of years or more to have procedures, until their finances were at least somewhat back in order. But all indications are more consumers are again willing to spend more to look better.”

In addition to surgical procedures, minimally invasive methods to improve appearance also rose, by 5% in 2010, to nearly 11.6 million procedures. The top five minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were:

“Injectables have remained robust despite the economy,” Haeck says. “Botox and Dysport injections are up 12% while, interestingly, fat injections are up 14%, which could reflect how a patient’s own fat is being used in more creative ways to rejuvenate the face and body.”

Reconstructive plastic surgery procedures also were up, increasing 2% in 2010. The top five were:

  • Tumor removal, 4 million
  • Laceration repair, 357,000
  • Scar revision, 161,000
  • Hand surgery, 106,000
  • Breast reconstruction, 93,000

The ASPS says breast reconstruction rose 8% in 2010 and replaces maxillofacial surgery in the top five reconstructive procedures.

“It’s been a major goal of the ASPS to increase women’s awareness of their breast reconstruction options, so much so that in 2009 the ASPS started a breast reconstruction public education campaign,” Haeck says. “It’s great that we can report that this procedure is now among the top five reconstructive procedures.”

Other findings in the group’s 2010 report:

  • Breast implant removals rose to 21,714 in 2010 from 19,857 in 2009
  • Botox procedures rose to 5.4 million from 4.8 million in 2009
  • Breast reductions rose to 83,241 from 78,298 in 2009

Show Sources


News release, American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Plastic Surgery Statistics, 2010 (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).

News release, March of Dimes.

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