Body of Work

If you’re considering either the knife or the needle, here is the skinny on the most popular cosmetic enhancements.

Thinking about getting a little nip or tuck, or perhaps a shot of “youth serum”? You’re not alone: More than 13 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Women accounted for 91 percent of those procedures, but the number of men turning to cosmetic enhancements has grown, with more than 1 million procedures done on them last year.

Here are the most popular surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S., according to the ASPS.

Surgical Procedures

All will cause some discomfort, bruising and swelling, but the cosmetic improvements are typically permanent. Prices, provided by the ASPS, are based on average surgeon’s fees; facility, personnel and anesthesia costs are extra. Approximate recovery times are according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

 • Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift)
Price: From $2,900
Recovery time: 10 days
An eyelid lift reduces wrinkles and bags around the eyes. Some insurance companies will cover the procedure if it’s done to correct drooping eyelids that obstruct vision.

• Rhinoplasty (nose job)
Price: From $4,300
Recovery time: 7-10 days
Most nose jobs are done for cosmetic purposes, but many people undergo this procedure to fix a deviated nasal septum that obstructs breathing and causes snoring.

• Liposuction (fat removal)
Price: From $2,900
Recovery time: 1-2 weeks
Liposuction can be performed just about anywhere there’s excess fat—from under the chin to “cankles” and everywhere in between.

• Breast augmentation (boob job)
Price: From $3,400 for silicone; less for saline
Recovery time: 1-3 weeks
Breast augmentation is the No. 1 cosmetic surgery procedure among women. Both types of implants are approved by the FDA, though saline gets the nod as a safer alternative in case of a rupture.

• Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
Price: From $5,100
Recovery time: 1-3 weeks
Tummy tucks remove excess fat and skin in the abdomen. Women who have had multiple pregnancies, as well as both men and women who have experienced dramatic weight loss, are typical candidates.

NonSurgical Procedures

The popularity of injectables, laser treatments, peels and other minimally invasive procedures has increased by 110 percent since 2000. These treatments can still be painful, and their effects are usually temporary, meaning multiple or ongoing treatments to maintain a desired appearance.

• Chemical peel
Price: About $700
Lasting effects: 1 month to many years
Peels work by removing the damaged upper layers of skin, evening and smoothing the texture. The deeper the peel, the longer the recovery time—and the results.

• Hyaluronic acid injection
Price: About $600
Lasting effect: Up to one year
These injectable gel dermal fillers work by binding and absorbing water molecules, plumping skin to fill in facial grooves and wrinkles.

• Botulinum toxin injection
Price: About $400
per treatment
Lasting effect: Up to four months
Most commonly known by the brand name Botox Cosmetic, botulinum toxin type A can make muscle-based wrinkles such as frown lines disappear.

• Laser hair removal
Price: Varies widely; $400 average
Lasting effects: Typically permanent, but occasional “touchups” may be needed
There’s a broad range of lasers that can zap hair growth, and hair color and skin type are factors in the their effectiveness. It’ll take a series of treatments to completely remove hair.

Fat Zapper

The Zerona Laser is a new FDA-approved, nonsurgical alternative to traditional liposuction. It’s been creating a lot of buzz since hitting the market a few years ago, getting air time on such TV programs as the Rachael Ray Show and The Doctors. The laser breaks down fat tissue that’s close to the surface; the fat is then flushed out of the body through the lymphatic system.  Areas such as “love handles” around the waist or “saddlebag” thighs can be targeted, and there’s no downtime. Patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and wear a compression garment on the treated area to encourage the release of fat.  Waistline reduction ranges anywhere from a few inches to several inches after six treatments over two weeks. Dr. Peter Ruggiero in Altamonte Springs, one of a few local physicians using the Zerona Laser for body slimming and sculpting, says the first patient he treated with the new device lost a total of 14 inches around the waist. The typical cost for the series of treatments is less than $2,000.


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