Cosmetic procedures are still increasingly popular in the United States, and a new report shows that most Americans are going under the knife to either change their faces or get rid of fat.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released its annual plastic surgery statistics report Wednesday, revealing the most popular procedures performed nationwide last year.
Though the new numbers mirror previous data, certain trends are emerging.
Vaginal, buttocks enhancements are trending
Nearly 1.8 million surgical cosmetic procedures and about 15.5 million minimally invasive ones were performed in the US last year, according to information from an annual survey and a national database system in which plastic surgery society members report the procedures they performed.
- Breast augmentation, which is intended to enlarge or change the shape of the breasts: 290,467 procedures.
- Liposuction, which is intended to remove excess body fat: 235,237 procedures.
- Nose reshaping, intended to alter the shape of the nose: 223,018 procedures.
- Eyelid surgeries, intended to lift sagging eyelids: 209,020 procedures.
- Facelifts, which are intended to enhance the appearance of sagging, drooping and wrinkled skin on the face and neck: 131,106 procedures.
- Botox, a drug that can be injected into the face in an effort to smooth the appearance of facial wrinkles: 7 million procedures.
- Soft-tissue fillers, which are injected in an effort to create a smoother or fuller appearance in the face or lips: 2.6 million procedures.
- Chemical peels, in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin in an effort to smooth wrinkles and create a younger appearance: 1.36 million procedures.
- Laser hair removal, intended to remove unwanted hair from various places on the body: 1.1 million procedures.
- Microdermabrasions, in which an instrument gently sands your skin to improve your complexion: 775,000 procedures.
The top five minimally invasive procedures were the same in 2015. However, for surgical procedures, the tummy tuck beat out the facelift as the fifth most popular surgery in 2015 (PDF).
For the first time, the new report included data on labiaplasty, a cosmetic surgery that alters the appearance of a woman’s genitalia, specifically her labia. The number of such procedures performed increased by 39% last year from 2015, according to the report.
This isn’t the first time the report has exposed an upsurge in a specific procedure.
A 2014 paper from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed a 58% increase in buttock enhancement surgery compared with the year before.
The new American Society of Plastic Surgeons report showed that buttock augmentation using fat grafting, which is removing fat from another part of your body and injecting it into your derriere, increased by 26% last year.
‘A rise and fall … in the size of breast implants’
Dr. Stafford Broumand, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York who was not involved in the new report, said that although breast augmentation seems to be the most popular surgical procedure of the previous year, he has seen a new shift in what patients are requesting.
“Throughout my career, over the last 20-plus years, I have seen a rise and fall — pardon the pun — in the size of breast implants. In the ’90s and 2000s, for my practice, implant sizes were larger. Patients were requesting larger breast implants. Today, patients’ requests have moderated somewhat,” Broumand said.
“What is stable, in reality, are none of our procedures or surgeries,” he said. “There has only been a steady increase in all of these surgeries.”
To appear more youthful in the face, fewer patients are requesting procedures that remove extra skin, and more are requesting procedures that plump the skin with fillers, said Dr. Brian Wong, a facial plastic surgeon at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the new report.
For instance, brow lifts were common in the 1980s and ’90s but have been supplanted mainly by Botox and fillers over the past 15 years, Broumand said.
“Aging now is thought of as the grape to the raisin. Before, it was thought about as ‘let’s cut away extra skin,’ but now it’s volume,” Wong said.
“So, grape to raisin, you have to plump the raisin,” he said. “I see a lot of patients that are, by the calendar, older, but they look younger. … They have not had surgery, but they have had Botox and a conservative and appropriate use of injectable fillers that slow the appearance of aging.”
Fillers also might have grown in popularity due to their use in lip augmentation. In 2015, 19-year-old reality star Kylie Jenner admitted in an episode of “Keeping up With the Kardashians” that she uses temporary fillers to plump her lips.
For patients who are interested in any cosmetic procedure, Dr. Debra Johnson, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, offered some advice.
“Plastic surgery is one of the only fields where there are a lot of non-plastic surgeons providing cosmetic services,” she said. “We always encourage patients to do their homework, make sure that their plastic surgeon is board-certified, that they’re well-trained in the procedures that the patient wants.”