It wasn’t very long ago that plastic surgery was something most Americans viewed as being reserved for the rich and famous. Having a nose job may have been an acceptable act for Hollywood starlets, but it was nearly unthinkable for other women. In February 2011, however, a study commissioned by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) found that more than half (51%) of those living in the United States approve of cosmetic surgery. That number is up 3 percent from the year before.
This study found that approval rates did not vary much among income levels and that about 20 percent of people asked said that their opinion of plastic surgery was “more favorable” now than it was five years ago. This shifting attitude about cosmetic surgery combined its widespread availability may explain why more and more people are electing to have work done.
Many local cosmetic surgery clinics, such as Associates for Plastic Surgery located in San Diego, saw an increase in patient numbers, and these increases are borne out by evidence from both the ASAPS and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Both organizations show that cosmetic surgery increased from 2009 to 2010; the ASPS statistics point to a 5 percent increase, with 13.1 cosmetic procedures being performed in 2010. These numbers do not include reconstructive surgeries. Of these elective procedures, 1.6 million were surgical and 11.6 were minimally-invasive like chemical peels and Botox ® injections, which were up 12 percent alone. On the surgical side of things, breast augmentation was once again the top cosmetic surgery performed in the United States.
As for who is having all this work done, women were 10 times more likely to undergo cosmetic procedures than men, but both genders increased their numbers. In addition, the 40-54 year old age bracket made up the majority of procedures with 48 percent of the total.
Where are cosmetic surgeries happening?
Neither the ASAPS nor the ASPS break their statistics down state by state, but the ASPS does look at regions of the country. The “Mountain” region, which incorporates much of the western half of the United States, elected to have the most cosmetic procedures done in 2010, with nearly 3.7 million, or 28 percent of the total. After that came the “New England” region, comprising Pennsylvania to Maine, with 2.8 million, or 22 percent of the total.
This is perhaps unsurprising when one considers that cities like New York and Los Angeles are ranked high on the list of number of plastic surgeons per capita. These are also traditionally very image-oriented and wealthy parts of the country, which could certainly factor into why more people are getting work done in these areas.
Another factor playing into the rise in cosmetic procedures was the rebounding economy. More people had more discretionary funds in 2010 than they did in 2009, which could mean that these numbers will continue to escalate over the next several years. Whether the number of Americans that approve of plastic surgery will continue to go up, however, remains to be seen.
About Associates for Plastic Surgery
As the practice of Dr. Wendell Smoot, Dr. John Smoot, Dr. Carol Hollan, and Dr. Reza Sadrian, Associates for Plastic Surgery is San Diego’s premier cosmetic surgery clinic. Each of the clinic’s talented surgeons is an active member of some of the United States’ most prestigious professional cosmetic surgery organizations, including the ASPS and the ASAPS, and each has been recognized by numerous awards and recognitions. The surgeons are known for their friendliness and the quality of their treatments in San Diego: breast augmentation, body contouring, and facial plastic surgery included. For more information schedule a consultation by calling 858-587-9850. The clinic is located at 9850 Genesee Ave., Suite 300, La Jolla, CA 92037.