Changing Faces: Common Cosmetic Surgeries Performed in 2011

December 10, 2011  |  
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Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought about what you would “have done” if you could?  Or, shall we say, your wallet allowed?  Even with the current state of the economy, cosmetic plastic surgery procedures rose two percent to 1.6 million in 2010, according to a recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).     “Consumers are willing to spend on themselves again and confidence is up,” says Dr. Phil Haeck, president of the ASPS.

Take a look at the top procedures done in 2011.  Are you tempted to try? Or are you just fine with how God made you?

1. Liposuction

Liposuction is the removal of fat deposits using a tube inserted beneath the skin; fat is then sucked out using a vacuum-like device. The procedure is often performed on the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, and upper arms. This year so far 203,106 liposuction procedures have been performed, up 2% from last year.  Recovery times range from one to four weeks, but it may take up to six months for all the swelling to go down. This procedure will suck about $2,800 out of your wallet.

2. Dermabrasion

Although it sounds like a medieval torture tactic, Surgical Skin Planning (Dermabrasion) has been performed 68,636 times in the US so far this year.  The procedure is up 8% from last year.  With a surgeon ranging from $300 for a small area, to thousands for a more in depth session.  Basically wrinkles and facial blemishes are literally rubbed out as a surgeon uses a high-speed, rotating tool to scrape away the top layers of skin, leaving softer, newer layers. Women make up 88 percent of dermabrasion patients. Recovery time is typically two to six weeks, but the face may have a red tint for three months.

3. Rhinoplasty

Commonly called a nose job, rhinoplasty is the reshaping of the nose to make it bigger or smaller, to narrow the span of the nostrils, or to change the angle between the nose and upper lip. Rhinoplasty is popular with men and women.  So far in 2011 252,261 nose jobs have been performed, which is down 1% from last year.  People typically need one to three weeks to recover, but they are advised to avoid bumping their noses or getting them sunburned for eight weeks. Rhinoplasty will have you nose deep in $4,000 worth of physician’s fees.

4. Lip augmentation

We can all point out fish lips when we see them, right?  For some reason this procedure seems to be a favorite among celebs, and they don’t hide it well! Lip augmentation help plump up the lips when a surgeon hollows out a portion of your lip and inserts an implant to give your lips more body. It usually takes two or three weeks for the swelling from this procedure to subside. Full lips are more valuable to women than they are to men, which is why 95 percent are done on women. How many smackers will this surgery set you back? Physician’s fees average about $2,000.

5. Face-lift

Here is another easy one to spot.  Have you ever seen a beautiful older lady with the smoothest face you’ve ever seen, but looked down to see her neck?  Generally a face-lift does not include the skin on the neck and therefore the neck exposes all of the wrinkled and sagging from natural aging.  When a face lift is performed excess fat is removed and muscles are tightened before the skin is redraped. A face-lift (or rhytidectomy) results in tighter skin on the face and sometimes neck.  In 2011 alone, 116,000 face lifts have been performed, which is a 9% increase from last year.  It takes ten days to three weeks to recover, but sun exposure must be limited for several months. Your face will be tighter, but you won’t smile when you see the average bill of $6,000 for physician’s fees.

6. Breast augmentation

Again, like several of these surgeries, breast implants can be very easy to spot.  Some women crave the large and in charge look, while others just want to increase their cup size by a size or two.  Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammaplasty, is the enlarging of a woman’s breasts using saline or silicone-filled implants. This year 296,203 have been performed, up 2% from last year. The surgery requires only a few days of recovery time, although the ASPS recommends there be no physical contact with the breasts for three to four weeks. Physician’s fees for breast augmentation average $6,400.

7. Eyelid surgery

In eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, drooping upper eyelids and bags below the eyes are corrected by removing extra fat, muscle, and skin. Women improve their eye area far more often than men. So far this year 208,764 have been performed which is up 3% from last year.  Patients need a week to ten days to recover, but those who wear contacts need two weeks or more before they wear their corrective lenses. Although the procedure doesn’t improve your sight, your eyes will look better as you write the large check of about $3,000.

8. Tummy tuck

Why do all of those pesky crunches and ab exercises at the gym when you can just get the fat sucked right out of you?  Well it’s expensive for one thing, and the recovery time can be quite long and painful.  Women get far more abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) procedures than men do.  During the surgery extra fat and skin are removed and abdominal muscles are tightened. This year 116,000 have been performed, up 1% from last year.  Patients need two to six weeks of recovery time, but the wallet will probably need longer to replenish the $4,400 in physician’s fees.


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