U.S. spending on plastic surgery dips to $10 billion

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Americans reeling from a recession spent $10 billion on plastic surgery procedures last year, down 3 percent from 2008, with declines for all of the most popular procedures, according to new data.

A surgical technician rinses a silicon implant prior to deflation and insertion during a breast augmentation surgery in Shrewsbury, New Jersey October 22, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Breast enlargement, nose jobs, eyelid surgery, liposuction and tummy tucks were all down, with liposuction showing the biggest decline, the latest figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) showed.

The top five procedures overall in 2009 were breast augmentation (down 6 percent); nose reshaping (down 8 percent); eyelid surgery (down 8 percent); liposuction (down 19 percent); and a “tummy tuck,” or the surgical cutting of excess fat on the abdomen and stomach (down 5 percent).

About 210,000 teenagers between the ages 13 to 19 had cosmetic surgeries, making up 2 percent of the procedures, or the smallest group, according to the data.

The most popular cosmetic surgeries among teens were nose reshaping, breast reduction in boys, breast enlargement, ear surgery and liposuction.

Less invasive surgery like Botox and wrinkle fillers are up 99 percent since 2000. Facelifts also remains of high interest to baby boomers 55 years old and older.

The reported declines did not seem to reflect a cultural shift away from plastic surgery, said Tom Seery, president of, a social media website focused on cosmetic surgery.

“Interest in cosmetic makeovers is significant and expanding, especially by those seeking solutions to aging and body contouring, especially post-pregnancy,” he said.

A survey commissioned by showed that if money was not an issue, more than one third of women and one in 10 men would opt for a facelift.

The ASPS figures showed that females made up 91 percent of those undergoing cosmetic procedures including “Mommy makeovers” involving tummy tucks, liposuction and breast lifts.

Males, which made up 9 percent of 2009 procedures, underwent 1.1 procedures, a drop of 2 percent versus the previous year.

Among ethnic groups, Hispanics saw a 12 percent increase in cosmetic procedures, followed by a 5 percent increase for African-Americans. Procedures among Asian-Americans fell 17 percent.

The ASPS is the world’s largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons, with more than 7,000 members.

Reporting by Walden Siew; Editing by Patricia Reaney