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Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures Increased 5% in 2011

The plastic surgery market continues to show significant growth - two years in a row. According to statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 13.8 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures (both surgical and minimally-invasive) were performed in the United States in 2011, up 5% since 2010. In addition, 5.5 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed last year, up 5%.

"While the rate of economic recovery in the U.S. is still uncertain, 2011 proved to be a good year for plastic surgery," said ASPS president Malcolm Z. Roth, MD. "Consumer confidence was up, auto sales rose 10%, so it is not surprising that we would also see increased demand for plastic surgery procedures."

Cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2%, with nearly 1.6 million procedures in 2011. The top five surgical procedures were the following.

  • Breast augmentation (307,000 procedures, up 4%)
  • Nose reshaping (244,000 procedures, down 3%)
  • Liposuction (205,000 procedures, up 1%)
  • Eyelid surgery (196,000 procedures, down 6%)
  • Face lift (119,000 procedures, up 5%)

Face lifts are among the top five cosmetic surgical procedures for the first time since 2004, replacing tummy tucks. Interestingly, a procedure popular with men, chin augmentation, nearly doubled in 2011, with 21,000 procedures performed, up 71%. Lip augmentation also rose significantly - up 49%, with more than 25,000 procedures performed.

"We are seeing notable increases in surgical procedures, such as face lifts, that reflect the demands of an aging boomer population," said Roth. "However, the overall growth in cosmetic procedures is being primarily driven by a substantial rise in minimally-invasive procedures."

Cosmetic minimally invasive procedures increased 6%, with nearly 12.2 million procedures in 2011. The top five minimally-invasive procedures were the following.

  • Botulinum toxin type A (5.7 million procedures, up 5%)
  • Soft tissue fillers (1.9 million procedures, up 7%)
  • Chemical peel (1.1 million procedures, down 3%)
  • Laser hair removal (1.1 million procedures, up 15%)
  • Microdermabrasion (900,000 procedures, up 9%)

Soft tissue fillers, such as hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm Ultra, etc.), calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), and fat injections experienced some of the largest growth in the minimally-invasive market during 2011. More than 1.3 million hylauronic acid procedures were performed in 2011, up 9%; 286,000 calcium hydroxylapatite procedures, up 36%; and 68,000 fat injections, up 19%.

Reconstructive plastic surgery, which improves function and appearance to abnormal structures, increased 5% in 2011. The top five reconstructive procedures were the following.

  • Tumor removal (4.2 million, up 3%)
  • Laceration repair (303,000, down 15%)
  • Maxillofacial surgery (195,000, up 125%)
  • Scar revision (175,000, up 9%)
  • Hand surgery (120,000, up 13%)

Breast reconstruction rates continue to rise, with more than 96,000 procedures performed last year, up 3% since 2010.

"While insurance coverage for breast reconstruction is mandated by law, continued strides to provide coverage for other reconstructive procedures has contributed, in part, to the sizable gain that we are seeing with these procedures," said Roth. "Reconstructive surgery is a critical pillar of the specialty, and it is encouraging to see that increasing numbers of patients entrust board-certified plastic surgeons to reconstruct their bodies after disease or trauma."

ASPS members can report procedural information through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures, Tracking Operations and Outcome for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data, combined with the annual survey sent to American Board of Medical Specialties certified physicians most likely to perform these procedures, results in the most comprehensive census on plastic surgery.

To view the 2011 National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics report, visit Visitors can also find information about procedures and referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons.