Millions of cosmetic procedures done in US in 2007

The annual report released Monday by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery indicates that 11.7 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2007 at a cost of roughly $13.2 billion.

The popularity of cosmetic procedures exploded in the last decade. Since 1997, surgical procedures have increased by 114 percent, while nonsurgical procedures rose by an impressive 754 percent, according to the report.

Eighteen percent of the procedures performed in 2007 were surgical and 82 percent were nonsurgical.

This is the 11th consecutive year that data from multiple specialties have been collected for cosmetic procedures. To obtain the data, more than 12,000 surveys were sent to plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and otolaryngologists. The findings were then used to generate national estimates.

The most popular cosmetic surgical procedure last year was liposuction, with nearly half a million operations performed. Rounding out the top five were breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty (better known as a tummy tuck), and breast reduction.

Botox injections were far and away the most popular nonsurgical procedure with nearly 2.8 million treatments logged. Hyaluronic acid injections were the next most popular with roughly half the number of Botox procedures. Other procedures making the top five were laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing.

The vast majority of patients undergoing cosmetic procedures were women, the report indicates. Ninety-one percent of the procedures (10.6 million) performed in 2007 were on female patients.

Compared with 2006, however, there was a much greater increase in cosmetic procedures among men than women: 17 percent vs. 1 percent. The procedure with the biggest increase among women was buttock augmentation, while the biggest gainer among men was injections of calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) for filling wrinkles.

Although the US Food and Drug Administrations advises against cosmetic breast augmentation in women under 18, the report indicates that nearly half the augmentations performed in this group were for cosmetic reasons. These procedures, however, represented less than one percent of the total number of breast augmentations performed in 2007.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health)

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