The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is a professional medical society whose members are dermatologic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, general surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, or ocular plastic surgeons — all of whom specialize in cosmetic surgery.

The AACS has completed its annual Procedural Survey and the most notable finding is the shift towards non-invasive laser treatments.

Over the past three years, cosmetic surgeons have seen a significant increase in both males (456%) and females (215%) electing to have laser resurfacing. Laser resurfacing is performed with a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that delivers short bursts of high-energy laser light to minimize wrinkles and lines on the face. In addition, laser hair removal has jumped to the overall number two most performed non-invasive cosmetic procedure.

“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.”

Although the economy is struggling, these laser procedures seem to be recession resistant. For instance, laser resurfacing has seen an approximate $450 decline in price since 2002. “As long as these procedures are effective and affordable, their demand will continue to remain steady.”

Other notable findings from the survey include:

In 2008, cosmetic surgeons have seen 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 and breast augmentation; while the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures were Botox(R) 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 Academy.

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