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News & Features 2016 Plastic Surgery Report

New Plastic Surgery Statistics Reveal Focus on Face and Fat

American Society of Plastic Surgeons releases report showing more patients using their own fat to sculpt

March 1, 2017
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reveals that Americans want to put their best face and body forward as their annual plastic surgery procedural statistics show a 3% growth in cosmetic procedures over the last year. According to ASPS statistics there were 17.1 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2016. The data also shows new cosmetic trends in both facelifts and fat.

Patients use own fat to fill and sculpt

From body fat reduction to harvesting fat to enhance other parts of the body, the data shows new cosmetic procedural trends related to the role of fat in body shaping.

"One trend we are seeing with fat involves an increase in fat grafting procedures. Plastic surgeons harvest a patient's unwanted fat from their abdomen using liposuction and then inject it to lift and rejuvenate other areas such as the face, buttock and even the breast," said ASPS President Debra Johnson, MD. "Because the material injected is the patient's own fat the results typically last longer than fillers."

  • Minimally invasive cosmetic fat injections increased 13%
  • Buttock augmentation using fat grafting increased 26%
  • Breast augmentation using fat grafting increased 72%

Newer, non-invasive fat reduction and skin tightening procedures are gaining popularity among patients:

  • Injection-based procedures that target fat pockets in specific areas such as under the chin, increased 18%
  • Non-invasive fat reduction procedures that use special technology to "freeze" fat without surgery increased 5%
  • Non-invasive skin tightening procedures that target fat and tighten sagging areas increased 5%

"These newer, non-invasive procedures appeal to a broad range of patients," said Dr. Johnson. "Even though they aren't surgeries, patients still need to take these procedures seriously. Before undergoing any procedure, consult with a board certified, ASPS member surgeon who will ensure that it's performed to the highest medical standards."

It's all about that face

Facelifts, which dropped from the top five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in 2015, made a comeback in 2016, according to the new stats.

"Patients are captivated by instant improvements to the face. It's evident in the popularity of apps and filters that change how we can shape and shade our faces," said Dr. Johnson. "While there are more options than ever to rejuvenate the face, a facelift done by a board-certified plastic surgeon can give a dramatic, longer-lasting result which is why I am not surprised to see facelifts back in the top five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures."

Top 5 Cosmetic Surgical and Minimally-Invasive Procedures

This year overall cosmetic surgical procedures grew at a slightly higher rate of 4% compared to minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, which grew by 3%. While body procedures are still popular, three of the five top cosmetic surgical procedures focused on the face.

Of the nearly 1.8 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2016, the top 5 were:

  • Breast Augmentation (290,467 procedures, up 4% from 2015)
  • Liposuction (235,237, up 6%)
  • Nose reshaping (223,018, up 2%)
  • Eyelid surgery (209,020, up 2%)
  • Facelifts (131,106, up 4%)

Among the 15.5 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in 2016, the top 5 were:

  • Botulinum Toxin Type A (7 million procedures, up 4% from 2015)
  • Soft Tissue Fillers (2.6 million, up 2%)
  • Chemical Peel (1.36 million, up 4%)
  • Laser hair removal (1.1 million, down 1%)
  • Microdermabrasion (775,000, down 3%)

Labiaplasty gains popularity

For the first time ASPS stats include data on labiaplasty, which the organization began tracking in 2015. The plastic surgery which rejuvenates the labia by lifting and/or injecting fat or filler into the area, increased by 39% in 2016, with more than 12,000 procedures.

"As cosmetic procedures become more common we are seeing more diversity in the areas of the body that patients are choosing to address," said Dr. Johnson. "A decade ago plastic surgeons might have seen a patient every seven to ten years when they needed a major procedure like a facelift or tummy tuck. Now patients have ongoing relationships with their plastic surgeons and feel more comfortable discussing all areas of their body that they may be interested in rejuvenating."

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