David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Increase 5%. Which One Is Most Popular?

Knoxville plastic surgery procedures increaseAbout this time each year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) releases the statistics on procedures from the proceeding year. These are always interesting because it represents a snapshot of what is going on in plastic surgery in this country. Most of these numbers are sent by the individual surgeons themselves, but the ASPS does a good job of collecting these and validating them. So — now that the numbers are in — let’s see what’s going on in the world of plastic surgery.

5% More Procedures In 2010
In terms of the big picture, in 2010 cosmetic surgical procedures were up 5% over the previous year. We all feel pretty good about this as the economy, while better, is not yet fully recovered. So, any growth is great but the more interesting thing to look at is where the growth occurred.

Facelifts Pulling In Higher Numbers
Facelifts are up 9%, which is a huge leap (who’d of thunk?).  While no one can say for certain why this is, I think that this is the result of two factors.  People who have been doing fillers and other injections understand that while these are great treatments, they have their limitations in terms of what they can do.  So, some of these folk may now be doing facelifts.  And, since the economy is better, these people have greater confidence and are willing to make this investment.

Body Contouring Sees A Lift Too
The other area where there has been a large increase is in major body contouring operations: lower body lifts (9%), thigh lifts (8%), and upper arm lifts (5%), ( with a smaller increase in tummy tucks {1%}).  These larger lifting operations are usually done in people who have had massive weight loss.  Nationally, there are larger numbers of bariatric (weight loss) operations being done, and these patients always end up with a bunch of extra skin.  And I think that this is driving these numbers.

Again this year there has been an uptick in male breast reduction, or treatment of gynecomastia (6%).  And while decreases are not really what we want to see, I am glad to report that the insertion of  pectoral implants is down over 2009. Bottom line here: breasts: good in women; bad in men.

Top 5 Operations in 2010
Here are the top five overall plastic surgery operations from 2010 (drum roll, please):

  1. Breast augmentation
  2. Nose reshaping
  3. Eyelid surgery
  4. Liposuction
  5. Tummy tuck

This reflects, for the most part, what we’re doing.  Breast augmentation is always number one, followed by tummy tucks.  However, we also see a lot of breast lifts, which do not rank as high with the ASPS statistics.  Not sure why this is.  However, some surgeons will try and get around doing a breast lift by placing a larger implant in order to avoid the scars of a breast lift.  This invariably fails, and, as such, if someone needs a lift, I do a lift or choose not to operate.

Silicone Implants Chosen More Often
And, while we are on the subject of breast implants, last year ASPS members reported that the use of silicone implants now exceeds the number of saline implants. We are seeing this trend as well and it’s a good trend to see because it represents a triumph of the science that proved silicone implants to be safe, over hype and hysteria previously aimed at these devices.

So that’s what’s going on around the country.  If you have questions about these numbers or the numbers of other procedures, give me a shout and I will look them up for you.

Be well,

David B.

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