Choosing to have plastic surgery is an important decision , and so is selecting a plastic surgeon. Whether you're considering cosmetic surgery to improve your appearance or reconstructive surgery to correct defects or improve function, you want a board-certified surgeon with the skill and training to help achieve your goals. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons ( ASPS), established in 1931, is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, and is available to guide you through this process. Nearly 6.6 million people had cosmetic plastic surgery in 2002, according to statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). "The demand for cosmetic plastic surgery remains strong, particularly the surgical procedures," says ASPS President James Wells, MD, Long Beach, Calif. "People are willing to make an investment in themselves to achieve the look they want. The stability of the surgical numbers illustrates the time and financial investment patients put into a serious procedure."
Women represent the majority of patients when it comes to cosmetic plastic surgery. More than 5.6 million women (85 percent) and nearly 1 million men (15 percent) had cosmetic plastic surgery in 2002.
The top five surgical cosmetic procedures for women in 2002 were breast augmentation (236,888), liposuction (230,079), nose reshaping (209,123), eyelid surgery (186,522) and facelift (105,850). This is the first time in 10 years that breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedure. The top five non-surgical cosmetic procedures for women were Botox® injection (991,114), chemical peel (771,542), microdermabrasion (771,314), sclerotherapy (495,610) and laser hair removal (484,787).
The top five surgical cosmetic procedures for men in 2002 were nose reshaping (145,204), liposuction (52,797), eyelid surgery (44,150), hair transplantation (26,501) and ear surgery (21,316). The top five non-surgical cosmetic procedures for men were chemical peel (148,798), Botox® injection (132,396), microdermabrasion (129,598), laser hair removal (102,753) and collagen injection (41,193).
The 35-50 age group made up 45 percent of all cosmetic plastic surgery patients with 2.9 million people choosing cosmetic plastic surgery. Liposuction was the number one surgical cosmetic procedure for this age category with 141,186 patients and Botox® injection topped the non-surgical cosmetic procedures for this age group with 610, 226 people.
The 19-34 age group had 1.6 million people choosing cosmetic plastic surgery, representing 24 percent of the cosmetic total in 2002. Breast augmentation was the number one surgical cosmetic procedure with 126,643 people and micro-dermabrasion was the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure for this age group with 253,016 people.
The 51-64 age group had 1.4 million people, representing 22 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients in 2002. Eyelid surgery was the number one surgical cosmetic procedure with 104,859 people and Botox® injection topped the non-surgical cosmetic procedures for this age group with 272,592 people.
The 65 and over category made up 6 percent of the overall cosmetic plastic surgery population with 396,993 people in 2002. The number one surgical cosmetic procedure was eyelid surgery with 37,790 people and chemical peel was the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure for this age group with 76,163 people.
The age category with the least patients was the 18 or younger group with 223,673 people, representing only 3 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients in 2002. Nose reshaping was the number one surgical cosmetic procedure and chemical peel was the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure with 51,734 people.
People who have plastic surgery today are a diverse population - women and men of all ages, races and ethnicities. Nearly 1 million, or 13 percent, of the more than 7.4 million cosmetic plastic surgery patients last year were minorities.
Migraine headache sufferers get significant relief or elimination of symptoms through modifications of plastic surgery procedures traditionally used to minimize facial wrinkles, reports the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
It is the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery's (ASAPS) position that, currently, lipoplasty (liposuction) is the only proven method for the permanent reduction of fat deposits. Recently, however, news of a non-invasive alternative to surgical fat reduction has begun to receive attention. The product, LipoSonix's SonoSculpt, is based on high-intensity ultrasound technology.
ASAPS President, Peter Fodor , MD, says the product is promising enough that he plans to discuss it at the upcoming 17 th Biennial Congress of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) which meets in August in Houston.
“The concept behind the LipoSonix device is to allow the surgeon to non-invasively disrupt and selectively reduce fatty tissue,” says Dr. Fodor. “Ultimately, I believe this technology could revolutionize the approach to body sculpting."
Is plastic surgery for me
Plastic surgery has obvious and often dramatic benefits. It is not for everyone, however. If you are considering plastic surgery, keep in mind the following:
- Understand the limitations as well as the benefits of plastic surgery. No surgery can achieve perfection, and there is no guarantee that the results will look exactly as you envision them.
- Have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery can reshape your body, not your life. Although an enhanced appearance after surgery may improve your self-esteem, plastic surgery will not solve career, marital or emotional problems.
- Time your surgery at a point when you don't feel exceptional stress and when you have emotional support available.
- Be prepared to tolerate some discomfort during and after surgery, as well as the possibility of scars or other side effects.
- Understand that, like any surgery, plastic surgery has risks.
- Be able to pay for or finance the surgery if your insurance does not cover the costs, as is the case for elective, cosmetic surgery.
- Know that plastic surgery is not suitable for people who are prone to mood swings or erratic behavior, who abuse drugs or alcohol, or who are receiving treatment for clinical depression or other mental illness.
A special note for those under 18 years of age: You will need your parents' consent for surgery. You also must have achieved certain milestones in growth and physical maturity.
Take the time necessary to research your options. Be realistic. Do your homework and find out as much as you can about the doctor you choose. Don’t be shy. Ask for referrals, credentials, and a free consultation.