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Home » Media

Skin cancer treatments, cosmetic procedures lead broad practice scope of ASDS members

2012 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Surgery Procedures Results

Dermatologic surgeons continue to be the physicians of choice for patients seeking treatment for skin cancer as well as cosmetic procedures, according to statistics released today by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).

The 2012 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures found that dermatologic surgeons performed nearly 8 million medically necessary and cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2012 (a nearly 7 percent increase over 2011), showcasing their extensive training and experience. 

Among the top procedures performed were:

  • Skin cancer treatments: 2.69 million procedures – a 3.5 percent increase over 2011.
  • Laser/light procedures: 1.68 million procedures – a 5.3 percent increase over 2011.
  • Neuromodulators (wrinkle-relaxing injections such as Botox): 1.49 million procedures – a 24.4 percent increase over 2011.
  • Soft-tissue fillers (such as Juvederm): nearly 917,000 procedures – a 10.4 percent increase over 2011.

“Once again, these survey results illustrate how dermatologic surgeons continue to be chosen by patients for their unique training and wide-ranging experience to treat not only the health of the skin but also its function and beauty through medically necessary as well as cosmetic procedures,” said ASDS President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “No other physician has the level of training and experience with the focus on the skin as a dermatologic surgeon.”

Of the 1.49 million wrinkle-relaxing procedures performed in 2012, 1.09 million were Botox procedures – a 9 percent increase over 2011; and nearly 379,000 were Dysport procedures – a 37.8 percent increase over 2011.

Photorejuvenation, a low-cost skin treatment utilizing intense pulsed light (IPL) or other thermal or chemical methods to treat some skin conditions and remove wrinkles, was the most common laser/light procedure, with ASDS members performing more than 438,000 in 2012 – a 76.5 percent increase over 2011, representing the largest single jump among procedures performed.

“As our population continues to age and people still continue to enjoy the sun without wearing appropriate sunscreen, sun damage will occur that will require treatment,” said ASDS President-Elect Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D.

Other top laser/light procedures include: facial redness with nearly 322,000 procedures and age spots with nearly 265,000 procedures. ASDS members also performed more than 86,000 acne scar procedures and nearly 63,000 tattoo removals.

“There is a wide spectrum of treatment options available to help restore and maintain the health and vitality of our skin and its underlying tissues that many patients are not even aware of until they walk into our offices,” Flynn said. “Dermatologic surgeons, buoyed by numerous research breakthroughs and clinical advances, recognize special needs of the skin through various life stages and can utilize surgical and non-surgical treatments.” 

Other popular cosmetic procedures performed by ASDS members include soft-tissue fillers, the most common of which was Restylane (352,261), followed by Juvederm (335,151). 

Of the nearly 144,000 body sculpting procedures performed by ASDS members in 2012, cryolipolysis (otherwise known as “fat-freezing”) was the most common, representing 57.2 percent of all body sculpting procedures and a 49 percent increase over 2011.

Skin Cancer on the Rise 

As the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise, dermatologic surgeons have been able to demonstrate their commitment to skin cancer awareness and prevention as well as their expertise in diagnosis and treatment.

Of the skin cancer treatments performed by ASDS members in 2012, nearly 130,000 were for melanoma – an 18 percent increase over 2011.

“More and more patients are seeing ASDS members for their concerns regarding skin cancer, so it is heartening to know how we have been able to help treat millions of patients to minimize the life-threatening and disfiguring effects of the disease,” Flynn said.

In 2012, ASDS members also performed more than 205,000 phototherapy procedures – up 26.8 percent over 2011 – to treat pre-cancerous cells (actinic keratosis) as well as sun damage, acne and rosacea.

About the Society’s Procedural Survey Statistics 

Data were collected for the 2012 experience and generalized to represent all ASDS members. The survey was conducted by Perception Solutions between Jan. 7 and 28, 2013, for data reported in 2012. The survey link was administered via the web and fax to 3,705 practicing ASDS members. Survey results are reported based on 630 physicians or a 17 percent response rate.

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