Aesthetic Industry Procedures

Learning about procedures in the Aesthetic Industry is the key to understanding a practice’s business model, potential, and capabilities.  The procedures below are broken into categories: Breast, Body, and Face/Skin.  Within each category procedures are broken into Surgical and Non Surgical.  Surgical Procedures are generally performed by Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeons, while non-surgical procedures are performed generally by Medical Spas, Laser Centers, and Vein Centers.

Your best resource for learning about procedures is RealSelf.  The treatments listed include real patient reviews of each procedure as well as the Average Cost of the procedure.  Its always recommended to ask your practice’s about their approach to a procedure, as well as what makes that different from their competitors.

If you want to know what the most popular procedures are, go to RealSelf’s homepage, and scroll down to Popular Treatments.

Currently the top procedures trending are: Breast Augmentation, Brazilian Butt Lift, Breast Reduction, Mommy Makeover, Rhinoplasty, Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Juvederm, Facelifts,  and Botox.  Below you will find additional information and resource links on all of these procedures.

Breast Procedures

Surgical Procedures

Cosmetic Breast Surgery for Enlargement.  There are lots of options in terms of Volume, Shape, Texture of Implants, as well as fill material.

Reference Materials:


Natrelle (Allergan)

Mentor (Johnson & Johnson)


Breast reconstructions are for patients who have had cancer.   These are often covered by insurance and are a lot of work which is why the majority of surgical practices avoid doing too many of them. Here are some articles:

Leif Rogers MD is one of the worlds most renown breast reconstruction surgeons

Breast Lifts can be done in a variety of ways and are popular for those who are having back problems or need skin removed.

Here is a primer for a variety of breast lift options.

Breast reductions are common for women who either have too large of breasts causing back pain, or for post-partum mothers who have experienced deflated breast tissue and have excess skin that needs to be removed.  This can be done in combination with a breast augmentation/implants, however, it is not a requirement.

Tenley Lawton’s website is a great resource for this.

When men get boobs (man boobs otherwise known as gynecomastia) this can be reduced surgically:

Here is a point of reference.

Non-Surgical Procedures

Body Procedures

Surgical Procedures

Typically a combination of procedures meant to give a mother a full body makeover post pregnancies.  These procedures can cost $10K-$20K.  VERY LUCRATIVE!

Can include:

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Breast Augmentation/Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Liposuction on Body (Flanks, Abdomen, Thighs)

Here is a great page on Mommy Makeovers

Procedure can be done on men and women, although its primarily done on women.  This procedure can cost $8K-$12K depending on options!

Here is more information on this.

For women who want bigger booties.  Growing in popularity.  Tough recovery.

Liposuction can be done on most areas of the body and is truly the only way to get permanent fat reduction by sucking the fat through a vacuum pressurized cannula (large gauge hollow needle).

See Dr Correa’s Page for more info.

When a woman’s genitalia get enlarged, they can be removed surgically.  This is a quick and easy procedure for most plastic surgeons and they can make $3K-$5K for an hours worth of work with big results.

See Dr Correa’s website for more info

Non-Surgical Procedures

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation is one of the fastest growing procedures on the market today.  There are many technologies that have different approaches for this.

Includes Brands/Procedures like:

CO2 Resurfacing-



DiVa (hybrid fractional resurfacing)

DiVa Tite (tightens the skin on the labia majora)

RadioFrequency/Ultrasound Based Treatments



Non surgical body contouring is one of the hottest categories of procedures available today.  Non surgical fat reduction is approached through either heat or cooling based procedures.  This is in direct competition with more invasive and surgical procedures like Liposuction that can have significant recovery periods.

Cryolypolysis (Cold Treatments):

Coolsculpting (now owned by Allergan)

Heat Based Treatments:

Ultrashape (Ultrasound based)


Sculpsure (Heat Based)

Vshape (RF Based)

Face Procedures

Surgical Procedures

A Facelift is the surgical removal of facial skin.  Removing excess skin and pulling the remaining skin tight allows for a smoother appearance of skin.  There is significant downtime associated, and many patients complain about a result that appears odd and un-natural.

Here is more information.

Neck Lifts are similar to facelifts but are performed on the neck instead to remove excess skin.

Here is a good page about that.

Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular facial procedures.  For surgeons who specialize in rhinoplasty, they can charge $8K-$15K.  It is a high margin procedure due to a lack of implant cost, and the option to charge part of it to insurance for patients with deviated septum’s who have breathing issues.

Here is a good overview.

An eyelid surgery, known medically as blepharoplasty and sometimes called an eyelid lift, can help patients diminish excess skin and tissue around the eyes. That excess tissue can have a variety of origins, but most often it slowly accumulates because of the normal effects of aging.

More info on a general bleph here.

Another popular eyelid procedure is the Asian Eyelid Lift

More info here.Asian patients who want to appear more caucasian can elect to have the asian eyelid lift.  Some surgeons even specialize in this.

Surgical Chin Augmentation typically involves placing an implant to improve facial profiles.  New alternatives to this for non-surgical is Kybella by Allergan (or BelKyra in other markets outside the USA)

More info on Chin Augmentation here.

Protruding, misplaced and malformed ears are the source of much anguish, particularly among children and teenagers. More info on Otoplasty here.

Ear gauges (earrings intended to dilate the hole from an ear piercing) represent a common and popular trend in body piercing. While the ear gauges are in place, the desired look is obtained. However, upon removal of the gauge the ear has a less-than-aesthetic appearance and unfortunately commonly needs surgery to correct it if one does not plan on continuing use of the Ear Gauges. More Info Here.

Non-Surgical Procedures

More than ever, patients are interested in non surgical facelift’s.  This is done with a combination of dermal fillers (juvederm) and botox.  Here is more information on what might go into this.

One other newly popular procedure is the Threadlift.

Used to reduce fat under the chin (double chin).  Currently the only FDA approved treatment for this.  Its an injectable that’s owned by Allergan.

Multiple treatments are needed and it causes the neck to puff up for a couple weeks after each injection.

More information is available here.

Lip Augmentation patients have options on implants (not very popular) and using dermal fillers like Allergan’s Juvederm lineup to plump up lips for a fuller result.

See Lip Augmentation on RealSelf

Botox (by Allergan) is the most popular of all of the Neuromodulators.  These treatments temporarily (for 3-5 months) paralyze the muscles they are injected into so the muscles behind the skin cannot create wrinkles they typically make.

Here is some more info on Botox from RealSelf.

Most non-surgical skin tightening treatments are done with lasers.  The idea behind most of the technologies is that they use heat to shrink the skin similarly to how a piece of bacon shrinks up when it hits a hot pan.  Most of the laser manufacturers have a laser to accomplish this.

RealSelf’s section on this.

Fat transfer (also known as fat grafting) is a process that involves harvesting fat cells from other parts of the body, purifying them, and them injecting them into the treatment site. This is done to increase the volume in areas such as the cheeks, lips, breasts, and butt. Fat transfer can also help reduce the appearance of pitted acne scars. While results are long-lasting, they should not be considered permanent.

Facials and Peels are used to help clear up the skin using chemicals.  Every skin care product company has their own version of it.  These are not super expensive ($200-$600 each).  They have a decent margin built in and can be administered by estheticians.

Extremely popular right now is the HydraFacial which uses a machine to infuse moisture during a peel/facial and cleanses the skin at the same time.  See more about that here.

Tattoo Removal is mostly done with lasers.  It is extremely painful, and generally works best on single color professionally done tattoo’s.  It requires multiple sessions.  The cost is often multiple times what the tattoo cost in the first place.  There is a lot of competition for this, and the margins on it suck when you relate it to the cost of the laser itself.  Most of the laser companies produce a laser that can address tattoo removal.

Here is some more info on the PicoSure Tattoo Removal

RealSelf’s treatment page

There are several laser/medical device treatments for cellulite removal.  The most popular is Cellfina which is semi-surgical.

Read more about Cellfina here.

Read more about other options here on RealSelf

Laser Hair removal is a very popular treatment for medical spas.  Its very commoditized on the market, and therefore prices are low.

Learn more on RealSelf.

There are a variety of treatments for skin resurfacing.  Generally very good results, although pain levels among treatments vary.  Also, can be $3K-$4K+ and very high margins for doctors.

See more on RealSelf

Veins can be treated either with a laser, other surgical device, or with injections with Asclera (Spider Veins)

Treatments range from $1000+

Vericose Veins are somtimes covered by insurance as they are very dangerous and can cause clots leading to heart attack/death.

Spider Veins