December 22, 2009 09:00 ET

Cosmetic Surgery & Makeover Wish List for 2010 Uncovered: Teeth Whitening, Tummy Tuck on Top

If Money Wasn't an Issue, Most Would Tackle Stubborn Fat and Brightening a Smile Rather Than Wrinkles and Facial Lines

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - December 22, 2009) - Beyond the traditional diet and exercise New Year's resolutions, found that this year Americans are surprisingly open to a number of quick cosmetic makeovers. If money wasn't an issue, what would you do to improve your appearance?

According to a recent survey of 2,227 adults by Harris Interactive(1) on behalf of, more than half of all U.S. adults (54%) would choose cosmetic work if money wasn't a concern, and of those who would have work done, the majority (52%) would choose teeth whitening, starting the New Year off with new-found confidence in their smile. However, just 6% indicated a desire to get Botox to treat wrinkles. Not surprisingly, a majority of women (67%), as well as 40% of men said they would also have cosmetic work done.

While attaining a whiter smile topped the list, both men and women are open to getting more significant work done. Tummy tuck surgery (29%) and liposuction (29%) round out the top three most desired procedures. Interest in other treatments includes:

     Procedure*            % of Total  % of Women   % of Men
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Teeth whitening                    52          51          55
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Tummy tuck                         29          39          13
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Liposuction                        29          34          19
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Hair removal                       25          31          16
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Face lift                          14          18           6
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Laser skin treatment               13          16           7
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Cellulite treatment                12          18           1
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Hair replacement                   11           5          20
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Breast implants                    10          15           1
                           ----------  ----------  ----------
Botox                               6           3           8
                           ----------  ----------  ----------

* Note: Findings in the chart are based out of adults who
  would get cosmetic work done if money were not an issue.

"The New Year is an opportunity for renewal, and many use the occasion to consider changes to their image. We found it interesting that so many are open to a significant cosmetic surgery procedure like Tummy Tuck, in contrast to a minimally invasive Botox injection," said Tom Seery, president, "While cost is a major factor, cosmetic surgery requires a much deeper set of considerations around safety and knowledge of what to expect. To this end, at you can get first-hand, anonymous feedback and ratings from others who've gotten work done."

Male Preferences

While the aesthetics industry focuses on and caters to female patients, 40% of men noted they would get cosmetic work if money wasn't an issue. For those men who would have work done, the specific procedures they showed interest in include:

--  Teeth whitening : 55% noted they would choose this treatment
    --  69% among those ages 18-34
--  Hair Replacement: 20% would want hair replacement
    --  30% among those ages 45-54
--  Hair Removal: 21% of those 18-24 want a clean look, compared to
    men ages 35-44 (11%)
--  Breast Reduction: Giving new meaning to the "Manssiere," 4% of
    men aged 55+ would want a breast reduction

While undoubtedly popular among Generation X, wrinkle fillers and other face treatments did not rank high on the list when money was taken out of the equation. Only six percent of adults who would have work done say they would choose Botox if money wasn't an issue, although the rate among women aged 35-44 is more than twice the level (15%). Laser skin treatments rank slightly higher -- 13% of those who would get cosmetic work noted they would choose this treatment, and one-fifth (20%) of adults in the West would use lasers to improve their skin. According to data from actual patients, the average cost of Botox is less than one-fifth the cost of laser face treatments $450 vs. $2,200.

Contrary to what might be expected, baby boomers are OK with looking their age and are less likely than younger counterparts to elect cosmetic treatments even if cost wasn't a factor. More than half (54%) of baby boomers 55+ (70% of men; 41% of women) report they would not have any cosmetic procedures, regardless of cost, compared to just 40% among those 18-34. Among the baby boomers who would choose the cosmetic route, facelifts are the procedure of choice for those 55+ (33% of women; 13% of men).

High Interest Doesn't Always Mean High Satisfaction

The RealSelf Worth It Index [] indicates high satisfaction with tummy tuck surgery, but mixed results for teeth whitening, which puts an emphasis on the benefit of doing research in advance. The Worth It Index, which determines levels of satisfaction with procedures from actual patients, tummy tuck, facelift and breast implants are among the highest rated treatments, even with higher associated costs and potential pain/recovery time.

                           RealSelf Worth It
   Procedure                     Index          Average Cost
                           -----------------  -----------------
Teeth whitening                           46  $             417
                           -----------------  -----------------
Tummy tuck                                84  $           8,592
                           -----------------  -----------------
Liposuction                               58  $           5,753
                           -----------------  -----------------
Hair removal                              69  $           1,539
                           -----------------  -----------------
Facelift                                  54  $          10,520
                           -----------------  -----------------
Laser skin treatment                      51  $           2,240
                           -----------------  -----------------
Cellulite treatment                       32  $           2,314
                           -----------------  -----------------
Hair replacement                          44  $          11,420
                           -----------------  -----------------
Breast implants                           78  $           6,631
                           -----------------  -----------------
Botox                                     60  $             461
                           -----------------  ----------------- is a free community of consumers and board-certified doctors that offers first-hand accounts and information on nearly 300 elective cosmetic treatments. For more details on the survey, please visit's blog:

About is an unbiased resource to find and share information about cosmetic treatments. helps consumer make the right decisions for treatments ranging from Botox ( to mommy makeovers ( to laser hair removal ( The privately-held company is based in Seattle. For more information, visit

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

(1) Harris Interactive® fielded the survey on behalf of from November 13-17, 2009 via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,227 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.