NEW YORK – Baby boomers do not seem to be content to grow old gracefully according to a new survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). Rhytidectomy surgeries (facelifts) have increased almost by 50 percent in the United States, a trend which shows more Americans are continuing to have invasive cosmetic facial plastic surgeries. On the younger end of the spectrum, the AAFPRS membership survey also pointed to a growing trend of patients forty years old and younger who are seeking to improve or enhance their appearance by non-invasive procedures.
“A significant trend highlighted from this survey shows the high increase in facelifts – which could be attributed to the fact that a baby boomer turns 50 years old every eight seconds. In addition, last year we saw more women, especially women under forty, flocking to facial plastic surgeons for many non-surgical procedures ranging from filler injections to chemical peels,” says Dr. Keith LaFerriere, president of the AAFPRS. “It appears that the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery has been heightened due to the increased media exposure it has garnered on primetime television, including programs like ABC’s “Extreme Makeover.”
The findings indicate in 2003 that rhytidectomies have increased by an overwhelming total of 46 percent compared to 2002, with an increase of 45 percent seen in women and 12 percent in men. Even more surprising, is the increase in non-invasive procedures seen in patients under forty (39 – 20 years old). Botox injections increased by 133 percent compared to 2002 in the under forty category. Patients (men and women) in the under forty age bracket increased their chemical peel procedures by 369 percent from last year.
“The public is consistently reminded of cosmetic procedures and the options available to people of all ages, which has resulted in an increased public acceptance of cosmetic surgery; both women and men are now more open to admitting they underwent facial plastic surgery,” added LaFerriere.
There is a growing availability of procedures including different facial filler options. Overall, filler injections are up 39 percent, fat injections are up 191 percent, 354 percent in women alone, and Botox injections are up 44 percent in 2003. With the recent FDA approval of Restylane in 2004, the AAFPRS forecasts an even greater percentage increase in cosmetic fillers in next years survey findings.
According to the survey the filler phenomenon has doctors offices crowded with patients eagerly waiting to pay an average of $1620.00 for fat injections, $547.00 for filler injections and $443.00 for Botox injections.
In 2003, the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures included scar revisions, up an astonishing 142 percent. Otoplasty (surgery of the ear where protruding or deformed ears can be “pinned back” by reshaping the cartilage) was up 94 percent while forehead lifts were up 53 percent. In addition, cosmetic non-surgical procedures saw significant increases as well; laser resurfacing increased by 171 percent and microdermabrasion was up 90 percent overall according to the survey.
Women continue to be the most likely candidates for facial plastic surgery with 71 percent of all surgical procedures and 87 percent of all non-surgical procedures. Specific increases among women in 2003 are seen with IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments, up 339 percent, facial/neck liposuction, up 189 percent among women, microdermabrasion up 97 percent, otoplasty, up 73 percent and forehead lifts are up 68 percent.
The AAFPRS survey also pointed out the difference between men and women. The top procedures among men were facial/neck liposuction up 66 percent, microdermabrasion, up 45 percent and laser resurfacing, up 30 percent. About half of all patients, male and female, have had multiple procedures in the same year. The AAFPRS survey also notes that in 2003, of African Americans who have had facial cosmetic surgery, most received rhinoplasty (42 percent). Asian Americans who have had facial cosmetic surgery were most likely to have received blepharoplasty (32 percent).
Not surprising, nearly half of the patients (49 percent of women and 39 percent of men) tell their surgeons that looking younger is the reason for wanting to undergo facial plastic cosmetic surgery. The survey showed men are more likely than women (31 percent versus 18 percent respectively) to say they want facial plastic surgery for work-related reasons.
Dr. LaFerriere reminds patients to make informed decisions when it comes to undergoing facial plastic surgery procedures. “Whether undergoing a surgical operation, such as a facelift, or a non-surgical procedure like Botox injections, patients need to be mindful that these are all medical procedures that should be performed by the hands of a well-trained, qualified, and experienced facial plastic surgeon.”
The AAFPRS urges patients to make an educated choice when selecting a surgeon if he or she is considering facial plastic surgery. A surgeon should be board certified by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) or equivalent boards like the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Many AAFPRS members are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – a board recognized by the ABMS, which certifies surgeons in facial plastic surgery.
Board certified members of the AAFPRS completed the 2003 survey questionnaire. The survey was conducted by International Communications Research in Media, PA. A full listing of the AAFPRS membership survey can be found at www.FACEMD.org.
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