Who’s Getting Work Done?

October 31, 2012 - by

It used to be the question that was asked in hushed tones at dinner parties and fancy soirees: “Did she have some work done?” Since plastic surgery is no longer the somewhat taboo subject that it used to be, let’s explore this question: Who is getting work done, and what are they having done? We’ll use 2011 statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) to answer this question.

Who’s getting work done?
This is probably no surprise: People in the 35- to 50-year-old age group had the most cosmetic treatments—almost 43% of all procedures performed in the United States. In sheer numbers, that’s slightly less than 4 million procedures.

Across all age groups, women have more cosmetic procedures than men. Plastic surgery for women accounts for almost 92% of all procedures performed, just shy of 8,400,000 plastic surgeries or cosmetic treatments. Men are increasingly turning to cosmetic procedures, however, showing a 121% increase over the past 15 years.

What are they having done?
Now that we know who is having work done, let’s look at the procedures themselves, focusing on the large group of 35- to 50-year olds who had cosmetic treatments in 2011.

Can you guess the most popular cosmetic surgery overall? Here are the surgical procedures, in order of popularity:

  • Liposuction. More than 150,000 men and women opted for this procedure, which removes localized fat deposits, giving you a slimmer, sleeker silhouette. It was the most popular plastic surgery for men, and ranked number two for women. Liposuction can also be combined with other surgical procedures to refine the results of the operation.
  • Breast augmentation. Breast enhancement came in a close second for highest number of cosmetic surgeries performed, and was the number one plastic surgery for women. More than 125,000 women in our target age group had this figure-enhancing procedure done last year.
  • Tummy tuck. The third most popular surgical procedure was the tummy tuck, which creates a svelte core. The vast majority of tummy tucks (also called an abdominoplasty) were performed on women. The tummy tuck is a major component of the “mommy makeover,” which is a combination of procedures that address the changes that happen to women’s bodies after childbearing. Men who have tummy tuck surgery have usually lost a great deal of weight and need help removing excess skin and tightening abdominal muscles.

Now let’s talk about non-surgical procedures:

  • Botulinum toxin A injections. While most people are familiar with Botox®, the popular brand name product that smooths wrinkles by immobilizing the muscles that cause them, there is a second brand, Dysport, that was FDA approved for cosmetic use in 2009. Injections from this group of products took the top spot among non-surgical procedures for our target age group, 35- to 50-year-olds.
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers. These injectable fillers, which add volume and soften wrinkles, are the second most popular non-surgical treatment, with slightly more than 500,000 procedures performed in 2011. Brand products such as Juvederm® and Restylane® containing hyaluronic acid produce immediate results and are fairly long-lasting, so it’s no wonder these fillers are a favorite of the youngish crowd who may not be quite ready for a surgical approach.

What’s right for you?

Of course, you shouldn’t decide to have plastic surgery based on how popular any particular procedure is. Let’s talk about what you’d like to do to enhance your appearance, and see which procedures might be best for you. Whether you’re looking for a complete makeover for your figure or just want to fill in a few wrinkles, we can come up with a plan to help you look your very best.

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