A recent report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows that cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are on the rise in America, with certain procedures providing the major push for these increases.
There were 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, minimally invasive and surgical, performed in 2012. Among the procedures that saw the biggest jump from the previous year, Botox leads the way, with an 8 percent increase. More than six million people got botulinum toxin type A injections, most commonly called Botox, in 2012.
Microdermabrasion was another cosmetic procedure that saw significant increase. This procedure involves exfoliation to remove a thin layer of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Almost a million people had this procedure done in 2012, an 8 percent increase from the previous year.
Soft tissue fillers, which are generally used to improve facial appearance and wrinkles, saw a five percent increase. Along with chemical peels and laser hair removal, soft tissue fillers account for more than 4 million procedures performed in 2012.
While minimally invasive procedures account for the large majority of cosmetic procedures, many surgical procedures are also increasing in popularity.
Eyelid surgery and facelifts in particular both saw significant increases last year. Facelift surgery, called rhytidectomy, removes major wrinkles, tightens facial and neck muscles, and removes excess skin. These flaws in the skin can come from aging, the sun and even genetics.
Fewer people had surgical breast augmentation in 2012 compared to the previous year. Nose reshaping saw no growth, and liposuction procedures didn’t increase either.
The ASPS report also noted the increases and decreases in specific reconstructive plastic surgeries. Their were 4.2 tumor removals in 2012, for example, and more than 170,000 scar revisions. These procedures can be vital for the emotional and physical health of those who receive them.
Laceration repair, maxillofacial surgery and hand surgery accounted for more than 600,000 reconstructive surgeries, the report found.
Why have cosmetic procedures grown to be such a large part of the medical world? This question has many answers. Beauty and youth are of course sought after today just like they were sought after thousands of years ago. Modern medical procedures have opened the door a little to these dreams, though of course appearance is far from everything.
While internal and functional medicine is and will be a vital part of human wellness, aesthetics may find a permanent place as well.