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The Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery in 2011 Was . . .
Plus: How much money are Americans are willing to spend a year to look good? A whole lot. By Melissa Romero
Comments () | Published March 20, 2012

We all want to look good. And turns out Americans are willing to fork over some major dough to do it--$10 billion dollars a year, to be exact.

Botox was the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure performed in 2011. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Vancouver Laser & Skin Centre.

That's how much they spent in 2011 on cosmetic procedures alone, according to data released today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Since 1997, the number of procedures has increased by 197 percent. The most common surgical treatment? Liposuction.

Liposuction accounted for 325,332 cosmetic surgical procedures in 2011. Breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, eyelid surgery, and breast lifts made up the top five procedures, respectively. Americans spent $6.2 billion in the past year on surgical procedures alone.

For minimally invasive procedures, Americans spent $1.7 billion in 2011. The most popular procedure was, not surprisingly, Botox. In fact, there were a total of 2,619,739 procedures completed in 2011. Following Botox was hyaluronic acid injections, which can last about four months longer than collagen fillers.

Rounding out the top five for minimally invasive treatments were laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and intense pulsed light laser treatments. These five procedures were also the top treatments performed by both physicians and their assistants or nurse injectors.

It comes as no surprise that 91 percent of the total cosmetic procedures done since 1997 were performed on women. Procedures for women have increased more than 208 percent over the past 15 years. The top surgical procedures included breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and breast lifts.

But men have had their fair share of touch-ups, too. The number of procedures performed on males increased 121 percent from 1997. The most popular procedures were liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction, and facelifts.

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  • Yeah, that’s right. I’m not surprised either, and I do believe that it’ll increase more over time. Cosmetic surgery isn’t just for aesthetic appeal anymore. It can also help improve someone’s life by boosting their self-confidence. That’s why it’s no wonder why a lot of people are now into cosmetic surgery.

  • Those figures are not surprising at all. It only goes to show that people are more open to surgery as a means to boost their physical appearance -- and by extension, their self-image. The statistics also look very promising -- in the sense that the increase in cosmetic surgery procedures since 1997 is apparent on both sexes. This should inspire the cosmetic surgery sector into developing more innovative beauty solutions for their expanding market.

  • These figures prove that people are willing to do whatever it takes to be more beautiful. Well, that's good news, as this has an indirect positive effect on their well-being. The concept of beauty is relative, and everyone has a capacity to be beautiful in their own right.

  • According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) President Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, the primary reason why plastic surgery procedures have gone up is because older population is battling with its younger counterparts in finding and staying in a job. Career-wise, looking good all the time and having self confidence win the competition in marketing themselves.

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 03/20/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs