If you read only People, Allure, or Buzzfeed, you would get a skewed view of plastic surgery in the United States. According to these types of sources, the cosmetic surgical procedures that increased in popularity the most during the past year were pectoral implants (up 208%) and buttocks implants (increase of 98%). There is an old saying, “There are lies,
damned lies, and statistics.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 1,054 (male) pectoral implant procedures were done in 2014 and 1,863 buttocks implants surgeries. Since these augmentation
procedures are very uncommon, even a slight increase in number from one year to the next results in a large percentage increase.
What is Truly Popular in Plastic Surgery?
Now what are the top cosmetic surgical procedures? Out of 1.6 million cosmetic surgeries reported to the ASPS in 2014, (female) breast augmentation was number one with 286,254
performed. Women chose silicone implants 77% of the time compared to saline implants at 23%.
Coming in second was nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) at 217,124 with liposuction a close third at 210,552. The figures for the top three procedures are essentially unchanged since 2013, but a comparison with the year 2000 results yields an interesting finding. Breast implant surgery is up 35% over 14 years while rhinoplasty and liposuction are down 44% and 41% respectively. The increasing popularity of breast enlargement may reflect an acceptance of the safety of the new generation of silicone implants as it coincided with a decrease of 42% in the cases of breast implant removal.
Minimally Invasive Procedures are Most Popular
Dwarfing the numbers for surgical procedures are the figures for minimally invasive procedures. Number one was Botox and its competitor, Dysport, which were injected
into 6.7 million anatomic units (facial locations). Soft tissue fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, and others) were also very popular with 2.3 million treatments.
For people who like to study numbers and popular culture, it would be interesting if the American Society of Plastic Surgeons broke down their figures by zip code. Alas, they don’t, so Kardashians – your secret is safe.