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Procedures numbers reflect upturn

Article-Procedures numbers reflect upturn

New York — The 9 percent increase in cosmetic surgery procedures performed last year may be a sign of a rebounding economy, the online Wall Street Journal reports.

According to recently released statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 1.6 million Americans underwent plastic surgery procedures last year — nearly 9 percent more than in 2009. According to the Journal report, a 2009 Cleveland Clinic study found a direct correlation between plastic surgery procedures and trends in the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq indexing.

The Journal quotes ASAPS President Felmont Eaves, M.D., as saying, “We’ve joked for years that we could create an economic indicator about how we’re booked.”

According to the ASAPS, Americans spent $6.6 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2010, according to a survey of 938 plastic surgeons. The five most popular surgical procedures were breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks and breast reduction, all of which were up compared with 2009. Americans spent nearly $1.2 billion on breast augmentation alone in 2010, more than on any other procedure.

In contrast, the number of liposuction surgeries has fallen 37 percent since 2007. While the ASAPS survey doesn’t explain why, the Journal reports that Dr. Eaves has seen a similar decrease in liposuctions in his practice and slight increases in thigh lifts and arm lifts, which can produce similar results.

But while 2010’s 1.6 million elective plastic surgery procedures were a significant improvement over 2009’s number, there’s some catching up to do before they reach the 2005 peak of more than 2.1 million.

The ASAPS survey also estimates that more than 7.7 million people underwent nonsurgical procedures last year. Treatments with Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA, Allergan) and Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA, Medicis) were the most popular of these, with 2.4 million patients receiving them.

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