Fewer eye lifts, a boom in Botox and more informed — and increasingly Internet-savvy — patients. For doctors trying to keep up with a changing market, those are among the findings in a pair of recently released reports recapping 2011.
First up, the latest report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), which shows that 13.8 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the U.S. last year, an increase of 5 percent from the year before. Much of that was due to a 6% spike in minimally invasive procedures (vs. a 2% increase in surgical ones).
We are seeing notable increases in surgical procedures, such as facelifts, that reflect the demands of an aging boomer population, said Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, ASPS president. However, the overall growth in cosmetic procedures is being primarily driven by a substantial rise in minimally invasive procedures.
Such non-surgical procedures also dominate the findings in the latest report from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), in which 37% of respondents said they were seeing more use of non-surgical procedures to delay surgical ones. It’s safe to say those patients are taking the long view, doing their homework and becoming more informed about their options. In fact, when asked to describe rising trends, more doctors (46%) chose “more informed patients” than anything else.
I’m not surprised, said Tom Seery, CEO of RealSelf.com. We see more and more people asking questions on our website, getting answers from doctors and going into consultations and appointments armed with the information they need. They’re on the Internet, they use social media and they embrace the idea of going minimally invasive to forestall the need for facelifting and other surgical procedures.