A report released by Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Canada and Medicard, an organization that provides financial assistance for people wanting elective medical procedures, says Canadians are increasingly opting for non-surgical ways to erase wrinkles or to tighten sagging skin.

The study says more than half a million cosmetic enhancement procedures were conducted last year across the country.

Non surgical facelifts can be performed in a doctor’s office and patients often see immediate results, which are not permanent.

The report says there was a 19 percent increase (4,185) in non surgical facelifts while the number of Canadians seeking surgical treatments has dropped with just over 2,000 such procedures conducted in 2005.

“The decrease in demand for surgical procedures is directly related to the increasing acceptance of non-surgical treatments,” Ann Kaplan, president and CEO of Medicard, said in a statement.  “It is important to note, however, that while the demand for surgical facelifts may have leveled, it has leveled at a significant height.”

The rising popularity of new procedures including the feather and thread lifts, electrical treatments, and Botox, are responsible for the rising numbers.

The study also suggests that prospective patients are now more informed about these procedures than they were in the past.

“Having a cosmetic procedure is becoming as mainstream as buying a car,” Kaplan explained.  “Consumers now research what is available, price the competition and make decisions based on the quality, performance and aesthetic attributes of what they will receive.  And, not unlike a vehicle, it all comes down to delivery and service.”

Botox, laser hair removal, liposuction, non-surgical face lifts, eyelid lifts, breast augmentation and surgical facelifts are the most popular procedures in Canada. The report says women account for nearly 84 percent of patients and nearly half of them are in Ontario.

Men make up about 16.5 percent of the market, the study suggests, but Kaplan says their numbers are rising.

Here are some tips, courtesy of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, on how to pick the physician that’s right for you:

  • Find out if your prospective surgeon is a member of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. To be a member of this society guarantees that your surgeon has the proper training required to perform Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  • Check with your provincial college of physicians and surgeons to see whether the surgeon is licensed and whether disciplinary action has been taken against him/her.
  • Verify credentials and training. Many cosmetic surgeons advertise they are “board-certified.” But requirements vary greatly depending on which professional board is cited. In Canada, only the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons certifies physicians and surgeons in medical specialties.
  • Ask the surgeon how often he or she performs the procedure you want and what the complication rates are.
  • Ask surgeons whether they have hospital admitting privileges in case of complications after surgery. Call the hospital to verify the information. If the doctor has an in-office operating suite, ask if it is certified.
  • Ask family physicians or other doctors knowledgeable about the local medical community what their opinion of your prospective surgeon is. Also, get a checkup from your family doctor to see if you have any health problems that might make cosmetic surgery risky.
  • Don’t feel pressured to agree to more procedures than you want, regardless of the price.
  • Be wary of the surgeon who “guarantees” satisfaction or minimizes the risks or recovery time involved.
  • Ask if the person giving the anesthesia is properly certified.
  • Read the patient consent form carefully before signing it. Ask what steps the surgeon will take if complications occur or further surgery is needed and what type of follow-up care will be given. Be thorough when discussing your expectations with your doctor. Proper communication before surgery tends to result in greater satisfaction.
  • Most importantly, feel comfortable with the surgeon you have selected. Hopefully you will not have a complication and things will run smoothly. However, should you have a complication, you want to know that this surgeon will pay close attention to you to see you through it. You might want to ask your prospective surgeon what he/she would do if you suffered one of the complications they describe when they talk about the surgery. If they do not even mention complications, you might want to take a closer look.


Plastic Surgery: It encompasses both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. Only physicians that hold a certificate in plastic surgery can perform these procedures. They are not the same as cosmetic surgeons, a term some dentists, dermatologists and other doctors may use to identify themselves. Before you make a final decision, you should confirm that the doctor you’ve chosen is registered with either the American Board of Plastic Surgeons or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Cosmetic Surgery: According to the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic surgery is defined as a treatment that takes a person from the realm of the normal to the realm of the ideal. These procedures include: breast enlargements and lifts, tummy tucks, eyelid surgery, nose surgery, facelifts, chemical peels and others. For more information on these procedures and the risks associated with them.

Reconstructive Surgery: The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons says reconstructive surgery is taking someone from the realm of the abnormal to normal. These procedures can include, breast reduction and reconstruction, cleft lip and palate, skin cancer surgery and others. For more information on these procedures and the risks associated with them.

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