Laser treatments driving cosmetic surgery industry, reports annual survey

MARCH 24, 2009--Laser technology is steering the future of plastic surgery, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), referring to its newly released Procedural Survey report. This year's most notable finding: the shift towards non-invasive laser treatments. The report reveals a huge increase in both males (456%) and females (215%) electing to have laser resurfacing over the past three years, mainly to minimize wrinkles and lines on the face. In addition, laser hair removal has jumped to the number two position for most performed non-invasive cosmetic procedures.

These laser procedures seem to be recession resistant, says the academy, and demand is driven in part by increasing affordability. For instance, laser resurfacing has dropped by about $450 since 2002. The AACS predicts that demand will continue to remain steady.

"Cosmetic surgery technology is advancing at the speed of light," states AACS President Patrick McMenamin, MD. "As we learn more about the cosmetic uses for lasers, the more patients benefit from effective results and quicker recovery time. It is an exciting time for both cosmetic surgery patients and physicians."

Other notable findings from the survey include:

+ In 2008, cosmetic surgeons saw a 29% increase in their female clientele. Despite the economy, women are continuing to invest in their appearances. In addition, cosmetic surgeons have seen a 2% decline male patients proving that when times are tough, cosmetic surgery is the one of the first things men delete from their wish lists.

+ The top three most performed invasive cosmetic procedures in 2008 include: liposuction, blepharoplasty (eyelid reconstruction) and breast augmentation; while the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures were Botox injections, laser hair removal and hyaluronic acid.

The 2008 Procedural Data is based on a survey of U.S.-based AACS members completed in December 2008. The entire report, conducted by RH Research, is available by contacting the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com, for BioOptics World.

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