The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) has announced the results of its 2006 Consumer Perception Survey. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Academy to gauge current consumer perceptions of celebrity "must-have" features, aesthetic procedures, and consumer misconceptions about practitioners’ education, qualifications, and training.

The survey showed that 6% of the adult population has had aesthetic surgery, but that almost 20% of the population aspires to have it at some point in their lifetime. The survey also provided insights about the perceptions and myths surrounding aesthetic surgery. For example, the results showed that only about half of patients are aware of the difference between an aesthetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon—which emphasizes the need for patient education surrounding aesthetic surgery.

The following are the results of the report:

• five out of six patients believe that personal appearance is key to professional success;

• when asked how open they would be about an aesthetic surgery procedure, 33% of patients said they would tell only those who asked, while 18% said they would tell only close friends and family;

• the two most wanted celebrity features, according to the survey, are Jennifer Aniston’s eyes for women (46%) and Nick Lachey’s abs for men (51%);

• given enough disposable income, 46% of patients say they would forego an expensive vacation or luxury car to pay for aesthetic surgery;

• about 12% of the men surveyed believe they will have aesthetic surgery at some point in the future;

• only 18% of patients cited fear of pain as a reason for foregoing aesthetic surgery. Instead, the cost is what would discourage 54% of those surveyed from having a procedure; and

• about 20% of patients are unclear on what an aesthetic surgeon is.

[www.medicalnewstoday.com, September 14, 2006]