'Fringe' plastic surgery procedures more hype than reality, ASPS says

Fewer than 800 vaginal rejuvenation procedures in 2005

Vaginal rejuvenation, pectoral implants, buttock implants and calf augmentation have been touted in the media recently as the "hot" new procedures taking plastic surgery by storm. According to a statistics report released today in which the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) tracked these procedures for the first time, the reality is quite different from the hype. These unconventional procedures are being done infrequently, when compared to mainstream cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.

"These trendy new procedures that are supposedly all the rage around the country, simply are not being performed in large numbers," said ASPS President Bruce Cunningham, MD. "We haven't seen rampant interest in these procedures in our practices and now the statistics show how few of these procedures are actually being performed. That's not to say that these procedures may not increase in popularity in the future, but right now, they are not as popular as they have been portrayed in the media."

Reports of the public's alleged growing interest in vaginal rejuvenation began in 2004. Based on these reports, ASPS tracked this and other touted procedures to verify whether or not the reality equaled the hype. In 2005, just 793 vaginal rejuvenation procedures were performed, according to ASPS statistics. Other "fringe" plastic surgery procedures tracked for the first time in 2005 were: buttock implants (542), calf augmentation (337) and pectoral implants (206).

These procedures are dwarfed when compared to mainstream procedures such as liposuction (323,605), nose reshaping (298,413), breast augmentation (291,350), eyelid surgery (230,697) and tummy tucks (134,746). Overall more than 1.8 million surgical cosmetic procedures were performed in 2005.

To obtain a full report of the 2005 National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics, which includes trending data on gender, age, geography, surgeons fees, ethnicity and more, contact ASPS Public Relations.

Since 2003, statistics have been collected through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures, Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data, combined with the annual survey sent to more than 17,000 board-certified physicians in specialties most likely to perform plastic surgery, results in the most comprehensive census on plastic surgery procedures.

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The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 6,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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