ASPS Report Shows Second Year of Consecutive Growth in Plastic Surgery Market

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released their annual statistics report last week, and it shows that Americans chose 1.6 million procedures last year.

When combined with minimally invasive procedures like Botox or Laser Treatment, the total comes to a much greater 13.8 million procedures.

Based on the latest statistics, the society is reporting a 5 percent increase in procedures for 2011.

Good news if you live in New Jersey and are looking to get a little work done –?the hotly-debated?tax on cosmetic procedures?signed into law in 2004 is going to be repealed.

More women are considering earlobe repair surgery to correct stretching that comes from years of wearing earrings, reports Britain’s Daily Mail.

Why Earlobe Repair?

Whether from wearing heavy earrings or just the natural aging process, earlobes can stretch and droop, aging a woman. Some are choosing to have this corrected either in combination with a facelift or just the lobes on their own.

“It is no secret that more women are having what could be called a ‘lobe job’,” says Wendy Lewis, cosmetic surgery adviser and editor of a beauty news website. “Gravity takes its toll on earlobes ? they droop like chins and breasts do, and can make you look older.” Lewis says that heavy earrings can stretch the earlobe out of shape and sometimes even tear the earlobe, when the hole from a pierced ear gets so stretched that it tears the lobe open and needs to be stitched back together.

big earlobes all round by kurisuuu, on Flickr

Alternatives for Ear Rejuvenation

In addition to surgery, some surgeons are experimenting with other ways to rejuvenate the ears. A representative of a London-based clinic reported using radio-frequency energy to tighten the skin of the ears.

She also said fillers are sometimes used to plump up the ear and make them look younger and fuller without surgery. If you’re interested in earlobe rejuvenation, talk to a plastic surgeon about the best approach. If you have cosmetic issues beyond stretched lobes, ear surgery can correct issues such as protruding ears, disproportionate ears and overly large or misshapen ears.

How It Works: Earlobe Repair Surgery

Earlobe repair surgery is a relatively simple surgical procedure to repair a torn, stretched or split earlobe. Usually performed under local anesthesia, your plastic surgeon will remove the skin surrounding the split to create a clean edge, and then sutures are used to close the split earlobe.

Sutures are typically removed within two weeks of surgery, and patients can usually wear earrings again within six months.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill to phase out the six percent tax on cosmetic procedures in three stages.

The tax will be reduced to four percent this year, down to two percent next July, and finally eliminated altogether by July 2014.

Initially conceived as a way to generate additional revenue for the state, the legislation has come under fire by the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons (NJSPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for being counterintuitive and costing more money than it brings in.

The tax adds a little over $10 million a year in revenue, but that number falls far short of the numbers legislators expected to rake in.

Furthermore, the tax loses money by encouraging what Allergan CEO David Pyott calls “surgical flight.” Potential patients chose to travel to neighbouring states for surgery to avoid taxes, and some practitioners followed suit and relocated their practices out of state. Independent reports found that between 2005 and 2008, for every dollar made from taxes, three were lost.

The bill was almost rescinded in 2006, but then-Governor Jon Corzine vetoed the legislation. The president of the NJSPS, Dr. Chris Godek, is pleased that the tax is finally being abolished. “We’re happy to finally have erased a tax that was unfair on several different levels ? including bias against women ? and which caused major unforeseen problems, such as the flight of residents across state borders for procedures,” says Dr. Godek.

According to Plastic Surgery Portal, a procedure like breast augmentation costs an average of 4000 dollars. At the current rate of six percent, an extra 240 dollars are added to that cost in NJ. Under this new legislation, that number will drop to $160, and then $80, before it is finally waved entirely. The bill also applies to dermatological and ophthalmological procedures, in a time of financial difficulty for many Americans.

With consumer confidence rising across the board, the demand for plastic surgery is rising as well.

“Consumer confidence was up and auto sales rose 10 percent,” said ASPS President Malcom Roth, “so it is not surprising that we would also see increased demand for plastic surgery procedures,” he concluded.

Procedures in cosmetic surgery increased 2 percent. For the first time since 2004, facelift surgery is among the top five cosmetic surgeries.

The number of tummy tucks decreased during 2011, while chin augmentation nearly doubled. Here are the top 5 for 2011:

  • 307,000 Breast augmentation procedures
  • 244,000 Rhinoplasty procedures
  • 205,000 Liposuction procedures
  • 196,000 Eyelid surgery procedures
  • 119,000 Facelift procedures

Surgeons also reported a sharp increase in lip augmentation procedures; at more than 25,000 procedures performed, they were up 49 percent from 2010.