Worth It Ratings Add Fresh Insights to ASAPS Cosmetic Surgery Statistics

ASAPS cosmetic surgery procedures

More than 10 million procedures, consumer expenditures approaching $11 billion and a whole lot of satisfied patients.

Those are among the key findings to be found in a just-released report from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). In fact, according to the organization’s analysis of multi-specialty statistics for 2012, the 10.1 million procedures performed by board-certified doctors in the U.S. represented a 9.1% increase over the year before and an impressive jump of nearly 250% over the last 16 years.

We are confident that these statistics continue to accurately report cosmetic procedure trends as performed by the physicians who are most likely to perform them, said Leo R. McCafferty, M.D., ASAPS president. For the past 16 years, the interest in and demand for cosmetic plastic surgery has risen exponentially.

And speaking of trends, the new report suggests that a new one may be about to burst forth. Last year, the most popular surgical procedure was breast augmentation, up 4.4% over 2011, to more than 330,000 procedures. That bumped liposuction to the No. 2 spot, followed by abdominoplasty, eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty.

All told, doctors performed nearly 1.7 million cosmetic surgeries last year, an increase of 3.1% over 2011 and up almost 80% since 1997.

Meanwhile, minimally invasive procedures continue to prove increasingly popular with aesthetic consumers. Last year, doctors performed more than 8.4 million non-surgical procedures, a 10.4% increase over 2011. The 5 most popular procedures were Botox/Dysport, hyaluronic acid, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

Needless to say, knowing which procedures are becoming more popular constitutes valuable market intelligence but it’s really only half the equation. Whether or not aesthetic consumers are satisfied with the procedures they’ve chosen has a major bearing on their interest in cosmetic surgery in general, specific procedures in particular and the insights they share with others considering their options.

That’s why, for the second year in a row, the ASAPS data also includes “Worth It Ratings” from RealSelf.com. Reflecting the combined opinions of thousands of RealSelf community members, the ratings offer valuable insights into what procedures patients consider “worth it,” all things considered.

For example, as the graphic below shows, the third most popular surgical procedure, abdominoplasty, scored highest in satisfaction, with 95% of patients who had the procedure saying they would do it again, vs. 93% for top-ranked breast augmentation and 74% for second-ranked liposuction. A similar scenario was evident among non-surgical procedures with laser hair removal (No. 3) outscoring Botox and other toxins (No. 1), 69% to 59%.

worth it ratings realself asaps In other words, there are procedures that generate business, procedures that generate satisfied customers and, hopefully, procedures that accomplish both goals. Thanks to ASAPS and RealSelf, determining where to focus your energies just got a little easier.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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