America’s appetite for plastic surgery continues to grow, rising by a staggering 115% since the new millennium. It seems, however, that some of the popular “menu items” are different. The types of procedures that patients are choosing is changing, as more specialized treatments become available. There are several reasons for both the continued growth and the shift in trends.
We are seeing a new group of consumers entering the market place. According to a report released in April 2016 by the Pew Research Center and The United States Census Bureau, Millennial (born 1981-1997) have surpassed Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) as America’s largest generation. This generation came of age in the most technologically advanced time in the world, with plastic surgery as a household word. Their growing presence has helped to advance the market place in the direction of less invasive, more proactive and more sophisticated procedures to “stay young”.
According to David H Song MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, “Patients have more options that ever before, and working closely with their surgeon, they’re able to focus on specific target areas of the body to achieve the look their desire.”
Over 1.7 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2015. The top 5 procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tuck. For the first time since the year 2000, facelift surgery is not in the top 5. Also of note is the fact that liposuction is down 37% since 2000, eyelid surgery is down 38 % since 2000. This reflects the move toward new non- invasive or minimally invasive applications (e.g., lasers, light based procedures, ultrasonic fat reduction procedure) .
A closer look at the 15.9 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United
States in 2015 reveals that 14.2 million were minimally invasive. Botox heads the list of the most common non-invasive procedures, up 759% since 2000. Soft tissue fillers (e.g. Restylane, Juvederm) are the second most common procedure, up 274% since 2000. Also on the list are non-invasive facial rejuvenation (lasers, peels etc.) and laser hair removal. Less invasive procedures can be more affordable and appear to a broader range of patients.
Male patients now comprise about half of the cosmetic surgery market. What is more dramatic than that number is the fact that men also account for more than 40 percent of aesthetic breast reduction surgeries. A total of 27,465 procedures were performed on men in 2015 for reduction of male pattern breast tissue (gynecomastia) reflecting a 35% increase since 2000.
Statistics also show that 2015 was ‘the year of the rear’ with buttock implants being the most rapidly growing type of cosmetic surgery. On average there was a buttock procedure performed every 30 minutes of every day?
The incontrovertible fact is that none of us will ever be any younger that we are this minute. And the numbers clearly demonstrate that while the demographics may be changing, America’s love for plastic surgery remains a passionate affair.