7 July 1999

Cosmetic surgery rates rise

According to a new study, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States more than doubled between 1992 and 1998. The report, published by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, makes no attempt to account for this increase.

The report shows that cosmetic surgery is still more common among women - approximately 10 times more women than men underwent cosmetic surgery in 1998. Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure requested by both sexes. The number of liposuction procedures increased by an amazing 264%, suggesting that while Americans are fatter than ever, they are unhappy about the condition.

The next four most common cosmetic procedures requested by women are breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, facelifts and chemical peels. The next most common procedures performed in men after liposuction are eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, breast reduction and facelift.

The number of men having facelifts has more than doubled and the number having liposuction has tripled since 1992.

The Society's annual report also shows that over the last 6 years: -- Breast reduction surgery rates increased by 77%.

-- 84% of women who had breast implants removed had them replaced with newer versions of implants.

-- The percentage of persons over 65 opting for cosmetic surgery increased from 6% in 1992 to 9% in 1998.

-- The percentage of cosmetic procedures performed on those aged 31-50 remained at 41% over the past 6 years.

-- Cosmetic procedures in teens dropped from 4% of all procedures performed in 1992 to 2% in 1998.

-- The number of chemical peels in women increased 243% over the past 6 years.

The report also shows that tumor removal is still the most common reconstructive procedure performed. Breast reconstruction surgery has increased 135% since 1992, with 39% of the procedures performed at the same time as mastectomy.