The 2012 statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS, http://www.surgery.org) put breast augmentation back in the highly coveted No. 1 spot. In 2012, there were 330,631 breast augmentation procedures and 313,011 liposuction procedures performed. Liposuction was the winner in 2011.
So why did breast augmentation come out ahead in 2012? This may be due to the growing consumer and surgeon confidence with silicone gel-filled breast implants, which have been available since 2006 after a 14-year ban. In 2006, 383,886 breast augmentation procedures were performed, and of those, 81% were saline implants and 19% were silicone. In 2012, however, 330,631 breast augmentation procedures were performed, and of those, only 28% were saline implants and 72% were silicone, according to the new data.
Before the FDA moratorium on silicone-filled gel implants, they were the implant of choice largely because they feel much more natural than saline-filled breast implants. But they fell out of favor due to concerns about health risks, and as a result, were banned. An entire generation of surgeons who came through medical school during the moratorium had virtually no experience using the silicone-filled implants during this time.
But these surgeons are speeding up the learning curve as women become more comfortable with these implants. "Given the natural feel and aesthetic results that can be accomplished with silicone breast implants, it's not surprising that breast augmentation continues to be ever more popular," says Michael C. Edwards, MD, a Las Vegas-based plastic surgeon who primarily focuses on surgery of the breast.
ASAPS 2012: The Big Picture
ASAPS stats, along with those from American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS. http://www.Surgery.org) and American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS, http://www.aafprs.org) all show that cosmetic surgery procedures increased in 2012.
"It shows some economic optimism," says Pittsburgh-based plastic surgeon and ASAPS President Leo R. McCafferty, MD. "The fact that the surgical procedures themselves have been up and are up is also indicative of a better sort of attitude. Patients may have been putting off surgical procedures even though they needed them and went with fillers or some of the less invasive procedures," he says.
Not anymore. Cosmetic surgical procedures increased by more than 3% in 2012, with almost 1.7 million procedures in 2012. Despite talk of a fiscal cliff, Americans shelled out almost $11 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2012, showing more evidence that aesthetic enhancements are largely recession-proof as consumers are on a mission to keep up with their youthful good looks.
Edwards agrees: "It's something to hang your hat on," he says. "People are feeling more confident." Overall, surgery accounted for 17% of all procedures performed, representing 61% of total patient expenditures.
The top five surgical procedures in 2012 were:
1. Breast Augmentation
3. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck
4. Eyelid surgery
5. Rhinoplasty or nose job
The top five minimally-invasive procedures in 2012 were:
1. Botulinum Toxin Type A Injections (BOTOX®, Dysport®, Xeomin®)
2. Hyaluronic Acid Injections (Restylane®, Perlane®, Juvederm®, Belotero®)
3. Laser Hair Removal
5. Chemical Peel
According to Dr. Bryan G. Forley, a New York City plastic surgeon, "It comes as no surprise that Botulinum Toxin and hyaluronic acid injections rank in first and second place among non-surgical procedures. Based on their high safety profile and popularity among women and men from age 30 and up, these treatments continue to be a mainstay in aesthetic surgery practices."
-Additional reporting by Denise Mann
Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor in Chief of http://www.beautyinthebag.com.
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