Economic indicators for 2010 were all over the map.

One surprising – yet seldom cited – barometer might indicate that the economy finally has started to rebound.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 13.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2010, a five-percent increase over 2009.

That’s a lot of nipping and tucking.

Whatever nip and tuck means to the general public, plastic surgeons are a little more precise in how they refer to their procedures.

Tummy tucks found 116,000 willing patients. Breast augmentation attracted 296,000 women. Botox was a clear favorite at 5.4 million procedures!

We’re not done counting yet.

According to the Healthcare Blue Book, a free on-line price guide, tummy tucks go for $7,640, excluding hospital stay ($4,200) and anesthesiology ($1,300).

Breast augmentation costs $3,400 excluding hospital stay ($1,615) and anesthesiology ($800).

A Botox injection is a relative bargain at $455.

All told, ASPS figures put their surgeon members’s fees at over $10 billion.

That is a lot of nipping and tucking.

How do we explain this impressive increase in plastic surgery?

ASPS President Philip Haeck, M.D. put it into perspective:

“The economy is showing signs of improvement and, financially, things are a little better for people this year. The financial markets are at a two year high, we’re seeing a double digit increase in the percentage of auto sales over a year ago, and as the aging population continues to grow, people are investing in plastic surgery procedures to help stay competitive in the workplace.”

Say what you will about face lifts, I’ve never viewed them as something to put on a resume.

I probably need to reconsider that notion.