Life is good for plastic surgeons.
Even though improvements in medical care and auto safety have decreased several main lines of their reconstructive surgery business, new technologies and, well, vanity have produced explosive growth in the number of procedures in other areas of practice, according to data released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
For the three categories of surgical procedures tracked by the ASPS -- cosmetic surgical, cosmetic minimally invasive and reconstructive surgery -- the combined increase in the number of procedures was 17% for 2003 compared with 2002.
"Business is good," said ASPS President Rod Rohrich, M.D., a Dallas plastic surgeon. "It's balanced. With the advent of new technologies, the business of cosmetic surgery has broadly expanded."
Reconstructive surgeries were almost flat for 2003 compared to 2002, Rohrich said, dipping slightly to about 6.2 million procedures with the number of cranial-facial procedures and breast reconstructions both down significantly.
Rohrich attributed the lower number of maxillofacial surgeries (down 9%) to automotive airbags. Fewer breast reconstruction procedures, down 8% in 2003 and down 11% over the past three years, were the result of earlier detection and the prevalence of lumpectomies over mastectomies, he said.
"That's a good trend," Rohrich said.
A 157% percent increase in the number of Botox injections to nearly 2.9 million procedures last year drove a 43% increase in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.
The number of cosmetic surgical procedures rose 5% in 2003 over the previous year. Nose reshaping procedures (356,554), liposuction (320,022) and breast augmentation (254,140) were the top three in this category. In comparison, the number of breast reductions rose 11% in the same period to 113,140. The up-and-comer procedure in the category is the buttock lift, which showed the most growth on a percentage basis, up 74%, to 2,411.
A complete breakdown of procedures for 2000 through 2003 can be found at the ASPS Web site.