Everyone is Getting Nipped, Tucked or Injected
If more than $13.5 billion seems like a huge amount of dough for plastic surgery and the varied aesthetic procedures that are offered by plastic surgeons, good— it should, because it’s the highest number ever reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
According to recently published data, nearly $2 billion made its way directly to surgical procedures like breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and liposuction last year, while a whopping $10.9 billion was spent on nonsurgical procedures like botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, fat blasting treatments like cryolipo, and lasers. What does all this really mean? It means if the US population is approximately 300 million people, every man, woman, and child spent about $45 at his or her plastic surgeon’s office last year. Considering that the overwhelming majority of children won’t head to a plastic surgeon for aesthetic procedures, that figure is actually much higher for adults. If someone tells you they just ‘naturally look good’ or ‘have good genes’ there’s a pretty good chance they’re not telling the entire truth. Good plastic surgery isn’t seen.
The $1.5 billion dollar increase from 2014 statistics is partially due to the popularity and versatility of injectables. Biotoxins aren’t just used for freezing foreheads anymore— physicians are using them creatively for off-label areas to stop excessive sweating and reduce gummy smiles. Fillers like Radiesse for hand-rejuvenation created a buzz among older, working professionals, while Juvederm continued to fill lips and smooth out facial folds. The stigma around injectables has significantly reduced with both men and women considering a spot treatment here or there in the realm of ‘normal’ versus extreme.
Surgically speaking, it’s no surprise that as America’s waistline is growing, so is the overall hunger for liposuction and other associated procedures. 2015 saw nearly 400,000 liposuction treatments in the USA, earning it the ONLY surgical spot in the top 10 procedures list. And, because Americans are leaning toward being greener and eco-friendlier, it’s no surprise that liposuction patients don’t just want to toss their valuable, hard-earned lipids into the trash— fat grafting procedures are soaring, because techniques are rendering fat cells more reliable than ever for plumping butts, breasts, hips, lips, and more. Nearly 50,000 fat transfers to the face alone were performed last year.
If you’re wondering who gets the most under-the-knife action, it is American women in the 61-64 age range coming in at about 30% of the total count. The next biggest segment is women in the 19-34 bracket, enjoying bigger breasts, smaller waists, and the more recently fashionable, generously-sized behinds that are growing in popularity due to cultural shifts.
Botulinum toxins seem to be perennial favorites among all age groups, and the new awareness of non-BOTOX brands like Xeomin and Dysport have helped propel the idea of less-emotive 11’s into the minds of both young and old.
The men’s sector also enjoyed huge growth in 2015, reporting a cool 1.5 million procedures, or about 9.5 percent of the total. The number of men who had cosmetic procedures in 2015 increased by a mind-blowing 325% since 1997, proving once again, that stigma is fading at a steady speed (or, frankly, aging). Men tended to prefer liposuction and nose surgeries in 2015, while male breast reduction and face lifts also picked up steam.
Newer ultrasound techniques (including Ulthera, Thermage and Pelleve) which stimulate collagen growth to lift and tighten the skin are becoming significantly more popular, with a 58% increase in the past year. For many patients, this procedure enables them to postpone a more invasive surgical intervention. Other, less intense procedures like laser hair removal, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion maintained steady, popular growth with over 2,000,000 performed last year, combined.
Ethnic plastic surgery is also on a steady trajectory, up 3% from 2014, accounting for 25% of all cosmetic procedures performed last year. This is the highest it has ever been, attributed in part to the advances in plastic surgery techniques and technology enabling aesthetic plastic surgeons to make subtle enhancements to a patient’s appearance without completely altering or replacing their ethnic features.
While no one can say for sure, 2016 looks like it is on track to be yet another record-busting year with mainstream popularity growing thanks to an open dialogue in the media and online forums gaining traction, celebrities and everyday people who are sharing their experience on social media. This is paving the way for younger generations to make informed decisions as they enhance their appearance and boost self-esteem.