Is the Recession Over?

One can certainly come to that conclusion after reviewing these 2008 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

12.1 million total cosmetic procedures were performed that year, with the most popular surgical procedures being breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, liposuction, nose reshaping, and tummy tucks. Cosmetic minimally invasive procedures that were also very popular include Botox, chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and hyaluronic acid injections (Restylane and Juvederm are two examples of this). Anti-cellulite treatment and laser treatment of leg veins were also part of the list.

Gender wise, women preferred breast augmentation, liposuction and nose reshaping, followed by eyelid surgery and tummy tucks. Their favorite minimally invasive procedures were Botox, chemical peels, laser hair removal, hyaluronic acid injections, and microdermabrasion.

Men, on the other hand, had their own preferences. For surgical procedures, their top five were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast reduction, and hair transplants. For non-surgical procedures, men underwent Botox treatments, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing.

Plastic surgery for Hispanics and other people of color increased by 11 percent. The surgery of choice was nose reshaping across the board, with liposuction and breast reduction a popular choice for both Hispanics and African Americans. Asian Americans chose eyelid surgery and breast augmentation. Minimally invasive procedures were the same for all ethnic groups—Botox, injectable fillers, and chemical peels.

There is a marked difference between these statistics from the ASPS and those from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). ASPS includes Dermatologists and otolaryngologists in their surveys, and also includes reconstructive surgeries in their report. ASAPS does neither of these. As a result, ASAPS’ numbers paint a somewhat less optimistic picture.

There are also many procedures that have increased in popularity. These are:

  • Dermabrasion. While microdermabrasion uses a light spray of crystals to abrade the skin gently, a wire brush or a diamond wheel is used in dermabrasion to remove the upper layers of skin. As it heals, new skin replaces the old skin. There is a great deal more bleeding with dermabrasion, and it is more traumatic to the skin, but it is also can be effective at removing deep scars and wrinkles.
  • Pectoral (chest) implants. These increase the size and shape of a man’s chest muscles.
  • Cheek implants. These help reshape or replace cheekbones.
  • Buttock lifts. These tighten sagging skin on the buttocks, hips and thighs, making the skin look younger and more attractive.

Reconstructive surgeries that increased the most included the following:

  • Breast reconstruction, often done to reshape the breast.
  • Birth defect reconstruction, which can include repairing cleft palates.
  • Hand surgery.
  • Scar revision.
  • Burn care.

These experienced a three percent increase from 2007’s statistics.