by Michele Krauss
Cosmetic surgery has been with us now for quite some time. Over the years, it seems, the stigma of electing to undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure has given way to a more accepting attitude. Years ago, women used to dart from the car to the doctor’s office, hoping not to be seen.
Today we host Botox® parties, call the mobile medi-spa for a home visit, read plastic surgery blogs written by actual surgeons, and enjoy shows like Dr. 90210. It’s all out in the open, and some of us couldn’t be happier.
A Snapshot of the Stats
According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the number of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures went up by 48 percent from 2000 to 2006. Breast augmentation led the pack, followed by nose reshaping, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks. Minimally-invasive procedures like Botox®, chemical peels, and laser hair removal were even more popular, adding to this multi-billion dollar industry.
ASPS president Roxanne Guy, MD, refers to this set of highly popular procedures as “Mommy Makeovers.” “In this day and age, women are giving birth later, returning to their careers sooner, and have busier schedules than ever before. Many are finding cosmetic plastic surgery to be the answer to returning to a pre-pregnancy shape they are comfortable with.”
With 11 million cosmetic surgery procedures being performed here in 2006, Dr. Guy notes those numbers might be a good barometer of local and national economies. “The increase in procedures mirrors the strong economy, low unemployment levels, and high consumer confidence.”
When Botox® came onto the scene, it was regarded with some scrutiny. Not so nowadays, when one can freely and openly enjoy “lunchtime Botox®,” or Botox® parties. This famous injectable dominates the market, while hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane® are also gaining in popularity.
Guys Like It Too
Men are squarely in the mix too. They had more than a million cosmetic surgery procedures last year. Dr. Guy says, “Although we’ve seen a slight dip in some of the traditional male plastic surgery procedures, the numbers reveal men are focused on adding volume to their face and reducing volume in the body.”
Current statistics show that while men are indeed fans of cosmetic surgery, they overwhelmingly preferred procedures that were less invasive, less costly, and offered quick recovery time. Nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and liposuction were the top three procedures done on men last year, with hair transplantation and male breast reduction rounding out the top five. Although the number of procedures for men falls far below that for women, it’s plain to see they’re fans as well.
The Doctor is in…Your House
Think back five years ago. Even at that time, cosmetic plastic surgery options were expanding and the industry as a whole was becoming more mainstream. But I’m not sure practitioners made house calls. That is, until now.
Destinations Medical Spa was launched by Dr. Donna Richardson several months ago, and is Southern California’s first doctor-managed mobile medical spa. Can’t find the time in your busy week to get to the doctor’s office? Then the doctor can come to you, accompanied by a small team of highly trained nurses. How’s that for progress?
Dr. Richardson’s mobile medi-spa offers an array of non-invasive cosmetic procedures, including laser treatments, non-surgical face lifts, chemical peels, and popular fillers like Botox®, Restylane®, and Cosmoderm™. All procedures are done in the comfort of the patient’s home, and are priced competitively. “I do tend to be quite busy during the week, so a service like this would fit beautifully into my life,” says Miran Emrich, a language instructor based in Los Angeles. “Plus, I think I’d be the secret envy of my neighbors.”
From the Keyboards of the Pros
There aren’t many subjects that escape the attention of avid bloggers, and beauty is no exception. For those wanting advice and testimonials on different cosmetic surgery procedures, beauty blogs abound. But just like learning about most things via the Internet, you have to be careful about whose advice you take as actual fact.
In a development that might have seemed strange several years ago, some cosmetic surgeons have left the confines of websites and have started their own blogs about cosmetic surgery procedures. Where an enthusiastic consumer might rave about the latest product, cosmetic surgeon blogs set the record straight with professional advice, a bit of irreverence, and a dose of healthy skepticism.
Dr. Robert Oliver Jr., a plastic surgeon from Birmingham, Alabama, writes the blog plasticsurgery101.blogspot, where he offers his professional opinion on the latest procedures. Dr. Anthony Youn, a cosmetic surgeon from Rochester Hills, Michigan blogs at celebritycosmeticsurgery.blogspot.com. On this site, Dr. Youn deconstructs the procedures done on well-known figures.
Combining Entertainment and Medicine
Years ago, our nips and tucks were done in secrecy. Some people went to great lengths to hide the fact that they had gone under the knife. Not so today. The popularity of reality TV has turned out to be a great influence on those shifting attitudes. Several shows on television feature patients going under the knife, getting a lift or some sort of filler, and audiences are watching in great numbers.
“I like shows like ‘Dr. 90210’,” says Doris Oortman, an event planner from San Diego. “I haven’t had any work done, but I do think about it from time to time. Shows like that take the mystery out of it, and help me understand the procedure better. Plus, the people are usually so happy afterwards, it makes me want that same feeling as well.”
The days of shrouding one’s procedures in mystery are long gone. With the numbers rising each year, cosmetic surgery has become accessible to an ever-widening audience, and more are lining up each day.