Cosmetic Surgery in the United States on the Rise

Cosmetic surgery continues to rise in the U.S.

In 2005, cosmetic procedures -- including surgery and minimally invasive treatments such as Botox injections and laser hair removal -- were done more than 10 million times in the U.S.

That's an increase of 11% from 2004 and 38% from 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Add in reconstructive plastic surgery -- such as surgery to remove tumors or mend wounds -- and the grand total tops 15 million procedures.

Most cosmetic patients were women, whites, and middle-aged adults, the report shows. But more than a million men got cosmetic procedures. So did more than 300,000 youths aged 18 and younger.

Most common cosmetic surgeries

According to the report, America's five most common cosmetic surgeries in 2005 were:

  1. Liposuction: 323,605
  2. Nose reshaping: 298,413
  3. Breast augmentation: 291,350
  4. Eyelid surgery: 230,697
  5. Tummy tuck: 134,746

Facelifts didn't make the list.

"The facelift is still a highly sought-after procedure. Nearly 109,000 were performed last year," says American Society of Plastic Surgeons president Bruce Cunningham, MD, in a news release.

"However, the fact [that] it didn't make the top five surgical procedures can be attributed to increased consumer demand for minimally invasive injectable wrinkle fillers and fighters as a remedy to combat facial aging," Cunningham says.

Other procedures

The report also lists the top five minimally invasive cosmetic procedures:

  1. Botox: 3,839,387
  2. Chemical peel: 1,033,581
  3. Microdermabrasion: 837,711
  4. Laser hair removal: 782,732
  5. Sclerotherapy (includes injectable wrinkle fillers): 589,768

The most common reconstructive surgeries were:

  1. Tumor removal: 3,936,405
  2. Laceration (cut) repair: 344,231
  3. Scar revision: 181,011
  4. Hand surgery: 171,972
  5. Breast reduction: 114,250

Data came from a national online database for plastic surgery procedures and from an annual survey sent to more than 17,000 board-certified specialists in specialties most likely to perform plastic surgery.

Different groups, different data

The three most commonly requested cosmetic surgeries varied by ethnic group:

  • Blacks: Nose reshaping, liposuction, and breast reduction
  • Asian Americans: Nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and breast augmentation
  • Hispanics: Breast augmentation, liposuction, and nose reshaping

The most common cosmetic surgeries for men were nose reshaping, hair transplantation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and breast reduction. More than 300,000 men got Botox and more than 200,000 got micodermabrasion, the report shows.

For the youngest patients, who were at most 18 years old, nose reshaping led the list. More than 47,300 youths had their noses reshaped in 2005, compared with more than 13,000 who got cosmetic surgery on their ears, about 3,000 who got liposuction, about 3,500 who got breast augmentation, and about 4,200 males who had breast reduction surgery.

By Miranda Hitti, WebMD, March 16, 2006

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