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2010 Top 5 Reconstructive Procedures


Updated May 16, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Every year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) publishes a report of the prior year’s procedure statistics. The statistics include both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. Unlike cosmetic procedures, reconstructive procedures are performed to restore form and function, in addition to maximizing the aesthetic appearance. The most popular reconstructive procedures in 2010 were as follows:

1. Tumor Removal

Photo © Millicent Odunze

Four million tumor removals were performed in 2010. This was an increase of two percent from 2009. A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Even though a tumor may be benign, it can enlarge and cause other problems, aside from being unsightly. Soft tissue tumors located on the face, neck, or other areas where the appearance of the final scar needs to be optimized are often referred to a plastic surgeon for removal.

2. Laceration Repair

Photo © Millicent Odunze

357,000 laceration repairs were performed in 2010. This number was a seven percent increase from 2009. Lacerations located on the face, neck, and hands (depending on the depth and location of the cut) are often referred to a plastic surgeon for closure.

3. Scar Revision

Photo © Millicent Odunze

161,000 scar revisions were performed in 2010. This is a decrease of six percent from 2009. Scar revision is surgery to improve or reduce the appearance of a scar. Scar revision may also restore function and correct skin changes or disfigurement caused by an injury, wound, or previous surgery.

4. Hand Surgery

Photo © Millicent Odunze
106,000 hand surgeries were performed by plastic surgeons in 2010. This number was a decrease of four percent from 2009. Many people are unaware that in addition to performing cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, all plastic surgeons have undergone training to treat hand infections, hand tumors, and hand injuries. This distinguishes plastic surgeons from cosmetic surgeons.

5. Breast Reconstruction

Photo © Millicent Odunze

93,000 breast reconstructions were performed in 2010. This number was an eight percent increase from 2009. Breast reconstruction involves using fat transfer, flap techniques, and/or breast implants to restore a defect of the breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy.


American Society of Plastic Surgerons. 2010 Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/News-and-Resources/Statistics.html


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