Interest in Cosmetic Surgery is Up - Body Contouring and Anti-Aging Procedures Top the List

mellieb on 26 Apr 2010 at 4:38pm

Moms Would Opt for a Body “Makeover”; Baby Boomers Want to Fight Age with Fillers and Face Lifts if Money Wasn’t an Issue American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Data Shows Rise in Minimally Invasive Procedures

SEATTLE – April 27, 2010 – A decline in Americans undergoing cosmetic surgery and treatments, as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) today, appears to be a pause triggered by the recession rather than a wholesale change in attitudes toward cosmetic makeovers. According to a new online survey by Harris Interactive of 2,148 adults on behalf of cosmetic treatment community, consumer interest in cosmetic procedures is up – way up, in many cases. More than two-thirds (69 percent) would choose to have cosmetic work done if money wasn’t an issue, up 15 points from November 2009 (54 percent), signaling interest among consumers is climbing.

Additionally, the desire for invasive plastic surgery procedures, many of which require substantial recovery time, suggests people want big changes, not just minor nips and tucks. Of those who would get cosmetic work done, almost one in three (29 percent) would choose a tummy tuck, 23 percent would want liposuction, and 13 percent would opt for a facelift.

Interest in other treatments includes:


% of Total % Female % Male
Cosmetic Minimally Invasive
Teeth Whitening 48 46 51
Hair Removal 27 35 18

Cellulite Treatment

14 21 3
Wrinkle Filler (e.g., Juvederm, Restylane) 12 15 7
Microdermabrasion 10 14 4
Hair Replacement 9 5 16
Botox 7 9 4
Cosmetic Surgical
Tummy Tuck 29 40 15
Liposuction 23 26 18
Facelift 13 17 8
Breast Lift 15 26 1
Breast Augmentation (i.e., implants) 6 10 2
Breast Reduction 6 8 2
Rhinoplasty 4 5 4





*Note: Findings in the chart are based out of adults who would get cosmetic work done if money were not an issue.

“We were curious to learn whether the reported decline in cosmetic surgery and procedures in 2009 was due to factors beyond the economy, such as a cultural shift away from cosmetic treatments,” said Tom Seery, president of ”The survey found that this is not the case, and that interest in cosmetic makeovers is significant and expanding, especially by those seeking solutions to aging and body contouring, specifically post-pregnancy. This is in line with what we’ve seen in the community, where traffic by consumers considering cosmetic procedures is up 70 percent from last year.”

Women Want to Make the Best of Their Bodies

Tummy tucks are most popular among women aged 35-44 – almost half (46 percent) would choose to tone their midsection if money wasn’t an issue, compared to 34 percent of women 18-34. More than one-third (34%) of women aged 35-44 would undergo a breast lift, and 28 percent would opt for liposuction, possibly thinking ahead to swimsuit season. Liposuction is also popular among men 35-44: 29 percent would undergo this fat removal procedure. These three procedures are most often associated with “Mommy Makeovers.”

Fighting the Clock – Antiaging Treatments Popular

According to the data released by the ASPS, minimally invasive procedures like Botox and wrinkle fillers are up 99 percent since 2000. The survey by RealSelf backs this anti-aging trend, especially among women aged 55+: of those who would choose to cosmetic work if money wasn’t an option, one third (33 percent) would opt for wrinkle filler and 14 percent would choose Botox.

Facelift surgery is of high interest by baby boomers: among those 55+ who would choose to get cosmetic treatments if money wasn’t an issue, more than one-third of women (36%) and one in 10 (11 percent) of men would choose a facelift in an effort to retain their youth. Yet, among men aged 35-44 interest is also high – one in five (16 percent) would choose a face lift if money wasn’t an option, compared to just 6 percent of men aged 45-54.

Cosmetic makeovers people intend to undergo in 2010

The survey also looked at which treatments people planned to undergo within the next 12 months, providing insight into what types of procedures will be popular in the months ahead. More than half of people (50 percent) who are planning to undergo a minimally invasive procedure plan to get their teeth whitened, and one in five (23 percent) will go through a hair removal procedure. One in 10 (11 percent) will have a wrinkle filler injection (e.g., Juvederm, Restylane), while only 3 percent noted they will have Botox injections in the coming year.

Among cosmetic surgical procedures, one in four (27 percent) will have eyelid surgery and 18 percent will undergo hair replacement. Facelift (13 percent), tummy tuck (12 percent) and breast lift (12 percent) round out the top five procedures people have planned for the next 12 months2. Tummy tuck and facelift are also among the top five Worth It procedures on The RealSelf Worth It Index measures levels of satisfaction with procedures from actual patients, noting whether or not the results were “worth it.”

The Worth It Index ratings and average costs for treatments in the survey include:

Procedure % Planning to Undergo in 20102

RealSelf Worth It Index

Average Cost
Mommy Makeover 7 91 $12,532
Tummy Tuck 12 85 $8,722
Vision Correction N/A 83 $3,139
Breast Implants 8 77 $6,591
Facelift 13 73 $11,471
Hair Removal N/A 68 $1,520
Botox 3 64 $475
Teeth Whitening 50 63 $380
Wrinkle Filler (Juvederm) 11 59 $743
Liposuction 8 58 $5,660
Laser Skin Treatment 9 51 $2,443
Hair Replacement 18 45 $17,390
Cellulite Treatment 6 32 $2,271
















About is the largest social media site for sharing information about cosmetic treatments, cosmetic dentistry, anti-aging, and skin health. Featuring real opinions, reviews, and ratings, as well as doctor Q&A and before and after photographs, RealSelf covers hundreds of topics including plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction. The privately-held company is based in Seattle. For more information, visit

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit

Harris Interactive® fielded the survey on behalf of from March 23-25, 2010 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,148 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
2 Results associated with the surgical procedures planned for next 12 months should be interpreted with caution due to small sample base size.


Mel Bolton
Mel [at] lyon-share [dot] com