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Plastic Surgery Demographics Changing

The demographic of people who are choosing plastic surgery is ever evolving. Learn what the most current demographic trends are for these elective procedures.

As with anything elective, plastic surgery follows trends as socioeconomic factors from one population group to the next change. Because of this, the demographic of the “typical” patient seen by a cosmetic surgeon is changing constantly. Many are surprised to note that the demographic lines are not necessarily economic, despite the fact that insurance typically does not cover elective procedures.

In 2005, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons conducted a study to see what demographic was seeking cosmetic procedures. The result from that study showed that the majority of patients, 41 percent, came from households earning between $31,000 and $60,000 a year. The higher income group, those making $90,000 or more, accounted for only 13 percent of the people surveyed.

Plastic surgery does not seem to discriminate against racial lines either. In 2004, approximately 9 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States. Of that number, 553,000 were performed on Hispanics, 461,000 on African American, and 276,000 on Asians, with the remainder covering other ethnic groups, including Caucasians. Nose reshaping was highly popular among minority ethnic groups, and liposuction was popular across the board.

Another common misconception about cosmetic procedures is that they appeal primarily to the young. The truth is, today’s modern society sees more and more older adults turning to cosmetic procedures. The majority of patients surveyed by the ASPS were in the mid-adult age, ranging from 30-49 and including 38 percent of those surveyed. The younger adults, the 18 to 29 year olds, only covered 26 percent. In the survey, 36 percent of the patients were 50 or older.

Perhaps some of the reason for this age trend is the fact that some procedures, like face and breast lifts, are not necessary for the younger population because they have not yet succumbed to the aging process. Another reason may be that older adults who have become divorced and are entering the dating pool again want to look more like their younger selves. Yet another reason may be because older adults are more secure financially and can afford the payment plans offered by the surgeons.

So what are trends for the reason behind seeking plastic surgery? According to the ASPS, patients indicated that they chose plastic surgery to either improve their appearance or help them lead a more active lifecycle. A large majority, 70 percent, indicated they expected to receive emotional benefits, such as a better self-image or a happier life. Survey responders indicated they thought long and hard before deciding on surgery, with around 40 percent saying it took them at least one year to make the decision.

Regardless of the demographic you are in, the decision to have plastic surgery is one you should not take lightly. Find a skilled surgeon, think carefully about the benefits and risksBusiness Management Articles, and make a fully informed decision. Understand what you can realistically expect to achieve from the procedure before you decide to have it. This will help ensure that you are completely satisfied with your results.

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