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2010: Plastic Surgery, the Year in Review

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The new statistics are out from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the organization that’s been tracking numbers and trends since 1997. Let’s see what we can learn from them.

The main takeaway from the new report is that surgery rates are on the rise again. According to a news release from the ASAPS dated April 4, 2011, in 2010 the “demand for plastic surgery rebounds by almost 9%” (ASAPS 3).

Numbers that follow the overarching results yield a few small surprises. Breast augmentation has been number one on the list of procedures for women for a few years now; in 2010 it was number one overall. No, this doesn’t mean that more men are getting implants. It means that while breast augmentation numbers continue to rise, the rates for liposuction—the number two procedure for women and number one for men—have fallen a bit (ASAPS 7).

Commenting on the report, the ASAPS President, Dr. Felmont Eaves III, attributed the 9 percent rise in cosmetic procedures to a strengthening economy. He also noted that patients’ interest in the “tried and true” procedures is returning (ASAPS [release] 1). And indeed that does seem to be the case. Bread and butter procedures make up the top five most popular surgeries with these numbers (ASAPS 3), according to the ASAPS:

  • Breast augmentation (318,123)
  • Liposuction (289,016)
  • Eyelid surgery (152,123)
  • Abdominoplasty (144,929)
  • Breast reduction (138,152)

Although it didn’t make the top 5 in terms of sheer numbers, it’s worth noting that facelift surgery, another “tried and true” procedure, saw a significant bump in numbers. In fact, the rise in demand for facelifts is a rather surprising 35 percent (ASAPS 3).

You might be wondering about demand for some of the newly popular surgeries. If so, you may not be surprised to hear that fat transfer and buttock augmentation grew at remarkable rates: 26.6 percent and 40.8 percent, respectively (ASAPS 7). But since the absolute numbers of patients electing these procedures are still fairly small, there’s not much discussion about them in the ASAPS news releases—yet.

Another interesting aspect of the ASAPS report is that it shows that non-surgical procedures are declining somewhat in popularity. After years of near meteoric growth, demand for less invasive treatments like Botox, injectable fillers, laser hair removal and the like fell by 9 percent (ASAPS [release] 1). No doubt about it, these non-surgical treatments are still quite popular—they still account for more than 80 percent of all cosmetic treatments. But perhaps now that some Americans have a bit more disposable income at their fingertips, they are skipping the lower cost options and heading for plastic surgery.

To learn more about what the ASAPS has to say about the current state of cosmetic surgery, visit www.surgery.org.


“Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics.” American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 3, 7. April 4, 2011. Web. April 13, 2011.

“Demand for Plastic Surgery Rebounds by Almost 9%.” American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 1. April 4, 2011. Web. April 13, 2011.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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