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Press Release

More Than 8.7 Million Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures in 2003-Up 32% Over 2002

For 12th Year, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Reports Statistics

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2023

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - More than 8.7 million procedures were performed on people who took action to proactively manage signs of aging or enhance their appearance by choosing cosmetic plastic surgery in 2003, according to statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), up 32 percent from nearly 6.6 million in 2002.

ASPS, a non-profit organization, supports members in their efforts to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1931, the ASPS is the only organization with more than a decade of plastic surgery statistics.


The number of surgical procedures grew by five percent, while minimally invasive procedures jumped 41 percent over 2002. This past year's growth may be attributed to the attention plastic surgery received from the entertainment industry, which spotlighted plastic surgery and perhaps, created a larger interest from the public.

"It is gratifying to see that more and more people are choosing plastic surgery, knowing the surgery can produce the outcome they desire," said ASPS President Rod Rohrich, MD . "It's important for the general public to understand, however, the serious nature of elective cosmetic surgical procedures. At the highest level of care, every surgery has risks as well as benefits."

Cosmetic Surgical Procedures The overall top five surgical cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in 2003 were nose reshaping (356,554), liposuction (320,022), breast augmentation (254,140), eyelid surgery (246,633), and facelift (128,667).

Women made up 82 percent of those who had cosmetic plastic surgery. Women chose liposuction most often in 2003, followed by breast augmentation, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and facelift. The men's top five cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for 2003 were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, hair transplantation for male-pattern baldness and facelift.

The 35-50 age group made up 40 percent of all cosmetic plastic surgery with liposuction being their most popular procedure. People 19 to 34 made up 26 percent of cosmetic surgeries, and nose reshaping was their number one procedure. For patients 51 to 64, who made up 24 percent of cosmetic surgeries for 2003, eyelid surgery was the top procedure.

Interesting Facts

The number of breast augmentations increased seven percent from 2002 to 2003, even while the FDA debated the safety of silicone breast implants - a public endorsement to the safety of saline-filled implants.

Other surgical procedures that increased included lip augmentation (21 percent), tummy tucks (18 percent), breast lifts (17 percent), liposuction (13 percent) facelifts (nine percent) and eyelid surgery (seven percent).

Forehead lifts were down 24 percent, reflecting the growing popularity of Botox®, which could be a factor in the decreased number of people having surgery and the increasing number choosing to have minimally invasive procedures instead.

More than 52,000 post-bariatric plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2003. In the past year buttock lifts, thigh, upper arm and lower body lifts, all of which are common procedures for contouring the body after losing a large amount of weight, increased significantly.

Procedures being done in an office-based surgical facility rose to 56 percent, with only 28 percent of procedures being conducted in a hospital. This trend reflects the safety of many procedures and the expertise of board-certified plastic surgeons to conduct them in their accredited office-based surgical facilities.

"It is positive to see that 41 percent more procedures were performed on people who chose board-certified plastic surgeons last year for both cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive procedures, ensuring that they will receive the level of expertise, safety and treatment they deserve as patients," added Dr. Rohrich.

One of the most important steps a person can take in preparation for any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure is to carefully research and select a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify a surgeon in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. Careful selection of the plastic surgeon can greatly enhance the possibility of a successful surgical outcome.

ASPS offers the most comprehensive, reliable statistics on plastic surgery procedures. In 2003, statistics were collected through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures called Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data combined with the annual survey sent to more than 17,000 boarded physicians in specialties most likely to perform plastic surgery procedures resulted in the most authoritative report on plastic surgery procedures.

ASPS is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. With nearly 5,000 members, ASPS is the definitive voice of the plastic surgery specialty. Viewed throughout the world as the pinnacle of information for new techniques, advances and plastic surgery trends, the society represents 94 percent of all the board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. Ninety-four percent of all ASPS members perform cosmetic plastic surgery and 89 percent of all ASPS members perform reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS, founded in 1931, represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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Awakening BeautyAnthony Napoleon, the author of Awakening Beauty: An Illustrated Look at Mankind's Love and Hatred of Beauty, is a psychologist who has spent many years studying beauty and its impact upon both individuals and society. He has worked with both cosmetic surgery patients and beauty pageant contestants as well as conducting original research into the field. Awakening Beauty is an unprecedented exposé on the subject of beauty. It is both entertaining and thought provoking, a combination that is as unique as it is telling about the author's approach to the subject of this book. The reader is taken backstage into the worlds of beauty pageants, plastic surgery, trophy wives, murderous rage, wardrobe, makeup, Bill Clinton, the events of September Eleven and other provocative topics where beauty has had its effect. Awakening Beauty invites the reader into a world that is as interesting as it is frightening. Readers are transformed as the author shepherds them from their world into his unique perspective and expertise on beauty. Awakening Beauty includes over one hundred tantalizing photographs and illustrations. Awakening Beauty is a compendium of some of the most interesting facts in print. The subject matter of the book along with the author's unique approach to it makes this book a "must read." Get ready to re-think everything you thought you knew about beautiful women and physical attractiveness.

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