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In 2009, there were over 12 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. The rising prevalence of cosmetic procedures can be attributed to media coverage, increasing awareness and popularity, and consumer demand. Despite the perception that plastic surgery is only for the wealthy, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of cosmetic treatments are performed on everyday Americans who want to feel good about themselves. Media coverage portrays plastic surgery as massive makeovers or marathon surgeries but these cases are the exception. More commonly, patients only have one or two problem areas that they would like addressed.
Patients sometimes experience an excessive feeling of guilt associated with spending money on their appearance. However, spending money on aesthetic treatments or procedures is no different than indulging in an expensive dinner, spa treatment, or a special outfit. The fact that the number of cosmetic procedures continues to increase and is so prevalent is a testament to their overall satisfaction. With 12 million aesthetic procedures performed in 2009, these procedures and surgeries are available to help just about anyone. Commonly, a simple cosmetic procedure can improve self-esteem, confidence and provide significant psychological benefits to the patient.
Procedures can be broadly divided into four categories: