Americans wince at dropping more than $2 a gallon for gas,but new statistics show Americans didn’t flinch while dropping more than $7.7 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2002.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery released the survey statistics last week collected from more than 14,000 questionnaires sent to physicians most likely to perform the top 36 cosmetic procedures.
And the total amount spent on the nipping and tucking actually is more than $7.7 billion,said Adeena Colbert,media relations manager for ASAPS.
That figure is only the surgeons fees,and does not include anesthesia,operating room or other fees,she said.
The top 36 list included popular liposuction and breast augmentation procedures,but the 2002 survey also included belly button enhancements,nipple enlargement and even buttock implants.
All the new procedures showed small numbers,but show increasing popularity of what at least one surgeon sees as just a trend.
“There are so many procedures out there that are driven by pop culture,starlets and the media,and we get people who call to inquire about them,” said Robert Bernard,ASAPS president-elect. “But I think that they are indeed fads.”
Bernard said surgeons always caution patients who want to have a new,popular procedure done,because “whatever procedure is done is still there after the fad is gone.”
Tattoos were once very popular and now women are coming in having the butterfly on their lower back removed,he said.
“I expect things like buttock enhancements will be the same way,” said Bernard,who practices in White Plains,N.Y.
Though buttock implants and calf augmentations may be a fad,Botox injections seem to be here to stay.
The survey shows Botox injections rank first among all procedures,increasing more than 2,400 percent since 1997.
The numbers for Botox are so high because injections are repeated to keep the results,Bernard said.
“Botox is effective,it's popular,and it's fairly safe,but there is no procedure that is completely without risk,” he said,adding that Botox parties that were initially popular,seem to have rightfully died out.
“Men and women should not be drinking champagne and eating hors d'oeuvres while having a medical procedure done,” Bernard said. “It's just not an appropriate venue.”
Botox was out front over all,but liposuction is still No. 1 among the surgical procedures.
The survey shows the number of surgical procedures,such as liposuction increased 1 percent from 2001 and nonsurgical procedures,such as Botox injections,declined 23 percent.
“Last year’s increase in surgical procedures,while small,speaks to people’s strong motivation for making positive changes in their lives – despite worries about the economy and world tensions,” said Franklin DiSpaltro,ASAPS president.
DiSpaltro said nonsurgical procedures are playing an important role,but patients need to understand that they cannot achieve as long-lasting results as a surgical procedure.
He said for younger patients,nonsurgical procedures delay the surgical procedures – do the Botox now to delay the brow or forehead lift.
Bernard said the number of nonsugical procedures saw a drop because the market may be saturated,but new patients will crop up soon.
Though most patients are newcomers,surgeons must be careful of patients who have an unrealistic perception of themselves,Bernard said.
“It's not unusual to have a patient come back,” he said. “But some will come in and voice an unhappiness or dissatisfaction with so many of their features,that's when the red light should go off in the surgeon's head.”
The survey shows females and people ages 35 to 50 are most often the patients.
The nearly 6.9 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2002 are a 228 percent jump since 1997.