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Many factors fuel continued cosmetic surgery boom


Dr. Zaydon
The "high water" mark for plastic surgery procedures continues to grow — although the types of procedures being done are changing in many cases, along with the demographics of the cosmetic surgery patient.

That's according to the 2004 procedural statistics recently released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The data include procedures performed by ASPS members; ear, nose and throat physicians; otolaryngologists and dermatologists.

Demanding pace Cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, which numbered 9.2 million in 2004, jumped 24 percent from 2000 to 2004, despite an economic slowdown. In 2004, patients spent $8.4 billion on cosmetic surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures, which include laser resurfacing, fillers and sclerotherapy, jumped 36 percent from 2000 to 2004, and 7.5 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed in 2004, up 7 percent from 2003.

Dr. Terranova
Where's the growth? Cosmetic Surgery Times talked to cosmetic surgeons around the country to find out where they are seeing the growth in their practices.

Without hesitation, several surgeons replied that advances in weight loss surgery are seriously impacting cosmetic surgery.

Rewards worthwhile A lot of doctors are leery about diving too much into full body contouring because of the extensiveness of the work, but Dr. Zaydon says the rewards make it worthwhile.

"These are the most grateful of my patients," he says. "Their expectations are not as high as, say, a facelift patient, so they are very appreciative of anything you can do, simply because they can't do it on their own. They have to have surgery. They've already succeeded in the weight loss; this is the completion of their journey."

Thomas J. Zaydon Jr., of Miami, says, "Absolutely, body contouring is skyrocketing.


Dr. Wustrack
"I used to do the operation infrequently, and now it has become the most frequent procedure in my practice — belt lipectomy, breast contouring, brachiaplasty and thighlifts. The number of people requesting those procedures is dramatically higher than even last year."

"There is no question that with the explosion of bariatric surgery, that there's also been an explosion in skin contouring procedures such as skin resections," John E. Sherman, M.D., of New York City says.

"The irony is — I don't do them. I've been in practice 26 years and have no desire. So, in terms of the growth in numbers with things like the lower bodylifts, they are mostly from the bariatric surgery. As we know, with the widening of the American population, this has had an explosive impact; not only on the healthcare system, but also on plastic surgeons who are young enough, heroic enough and courageous enough to do this type of work," he laughs.

Dr. Sherman says these procedures are not for the faint of heart.

"These procedures are lengthy; they require a certain fund of knowledge. Beware the surgeon who has only done 10 of these, because these require understanding, not just in terms of the execution of the operation, but in having the algorithm of when to do what with the operation."

In Charleston, S.C., William A. Terranova, M.D., says the post-bariatric surgery is even making its way to his area.


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