Americans spent nearly $12 billion on cosmetic procedures to look good good last year – much of it on breast implants, surgical face-lifts and Botox injections – a medical practice feeding frenzy that has touched everyone from young professionals to aging baby-boomers.
Saving face doesn’t mean one has to go under the knife. From hyaluronic acid injections to fractional resurfacing, nonsurgical options are an essential part of facial rejuvenation techniques.
What started with Botox now includes a host of Restylane, Puragen, Sculptra and Evolence remedies.
Dr. Paul Lorenc of New York believes cosmetic surgery has become more popular today because it’s much easier to perform, there’s less downtime for recovery and it’s more exposed in the media, saying, “What we are doing 10 years ago was archaic. We have progressed tremendously in the name of patient benefits and safety.”
The No. 1 surgical procedure nationwide in 2008, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, was breast augmentation. The average cost is $3,885 for silicone gel implants and $3,603 for saline implants.
The top nonsurgical procedure in the nation was Botox injections ($2.46 million) at an average cost of $443 each.
Face-lifts are still the main component of cosmetic treatments, with 132,000 procedures performed in 2008 at an average cost of $6,728.
Since 1997, the number of cosmetic procedures nationally has increased 457 percent to 11.7 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures annually. Women have 10.6 million, or 91 percent, of the procedures.