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The Most Common Cosmetic Surgery in 2011 Was ...

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Updated: 12/06/2012 1:50 pm

March 20, 2012 -- Almost 9.2 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2011, and Americans spent nearly $10 billion on cosmetic procedures last year.

These are some of the key findings in the new statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Cosmetic surgical procedures increased almost 1% since 2010, while minimally invasive procedures decreased almost 2% in the same time period.

This is the 15th year the ASAPS has tracked plastic surgery. Since 1997, cosmetic procedures have increased 197% for men and women combined -- and there have been some changes over the years.

“Surgery seems to be slowly coming back,” says ASAPS President Jeffrey M. Kenkel, MD. He is a professor and vice chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Noninvasive procedures such as injectables do have a role, but individuals are looking for more durable results, says Kenkel.

One of the reasons that the numbers are creeping up is that people need to stay in the work force longer, which means that they must compete with their younger counterparts for the same jobs, he says.

Liposuction topped the list of most popular plastic surgeries in 2011, and injections of botulinum toxin type A (including Botox and Dysport) ranked as the top nonsurgical procedures, the new statistics show.

Top Surgical Procedures

According to the new statistics, the top five surgical procedures in 2011 were:

Fully two-thirds of women opting for breast augmentation with implants chose silicone-filled breast implants in 2011. Kenkel says this shows that women and plastic surgeons are becoming more comfortable with the safety of these implants.

Due to safety concerns, there was a 14-year ban on the use of silicone breast implants. This ban was lifted in 2006. In a further nod confirming the safety of these implants, the FDA recently approved a new silicone-gel breast implant from Sientra, making it the third company to market these implants in the U.S.

Top Nonsurgical Procedures

In 2011, the top five minimally invasive procedures were:

  • Botulinum toxin type A
  • Hyaluronic acid-based fillers (for treatment of wrinkles)
  • Laser hair removal
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments (for treatment of skin redness and uneven skin tone)

Women had almost 8.4 million cosmetic procedures in 2011, and men had almost 800,000. The number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 121% from 1997, which was the year that ASAPS first started tracking these statistics.

The new statistics were based on questionnaires sent to dermatologists, otolaryngologists, and plastic surgeons. More than 1,100 doctors returned the questionnaires. The final sample included responses from 420 plastic surgeons, 384 dermatologists, and 211 otolaryngologists.

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