This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

“The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”

This oft-quoted statement of Benjamin Franklin rings as true in 2012 as it did 250 years ago. Other comments on the topic include this additional thought from Franklin who said, “If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.” Another wag opined, “Death and taxes may be certain, but we don’t have to die every year.” Will Rogers suggested, “The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” And finally, after ObamaCare health care legislation was introduced, one senior citizen noted alarmingly that it would mandate decreased health care for certain seniors and said, “ObamaCare – Death and Taxes Rolled Into One!”

Regardless of one’s political views, the inevitably of death and taxes is certain. One other certainty that should be added to the list, however, is the quest for personal beauty. Whether it is by means of cosmetics or surgery, both men and women ardently pursue this goal. Despite the recent economic recession, the likes of which this country has never seen, the quest for improved appearance continues unabated. After a 9% drop in 2009, the number of cosmetic surgeries performed by members of the ASPS (2011 American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Annual Statistics Report) has rebounded, increasing by 2% for the past two years. In 2011 the five most frequently performed procedures were:

• Breast Augmentation
• Nose Reshaping
• Liposuction
• Eyelid Surgery
• Facelift

For the first time since 2004, facelifts were among the top five procedures, replacing tummy tucks. This reflects the increasing number of baby boomers as well as the popularity of less invasive/shorter recovery facelift variants such as the MACS-Lift. Other upward movers included lip augmentation, up 49% last year due to the increasing popularity of permanent implants. The hassle and discomfort of twice yearly lip injections is being replaced by the convenience of a single procedure (PermaLip Implants) performed under local anesthesia that usually gives soft and naturally shaped lips with normal sensation.

Growing even more rapidly is the number of cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures which managed a 1% increase in 2009 – the depths of the recession – and has increased by 5% and 6% in the past two years. In order of popularity for 2011, these were:

• Injection of Botulinum Toxin (Botox, Dysport)
• Soft Tissue Fillers (e.g. Juvederm, Restylane, Fat Injection)
• Chemical Peels
• Laser Hair Removal
• Microdermabrasion

Overall there was a 5% increase in the total number of all cosmetic procedures, both minimally-invasive and surgical, to an astounding 13 million! This overall growth is being primarily driven by a substantial rise in the popularity of minimally-invasive procedures. In the past 11 years, their growth rate has been 3 times greater than the surgical procedures, reflecting the eagerness of the consumer to exchange the greater cost and increased downtime of surgery for the decreased cost and more rapid recovery of the minimally-invasive procedures, even if it means more frequent trips to the plastic surgeon’s office.

If you would like further information about the Macs-Lift, PermaLip Implants, or other procedures mentioned above, please contact my office.