Annual plastic surgery statistics reflect the changing face of plastic surgery

February 25, 2016, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show continued growth in cosmetic procedures over the last year, and a shift in the types of procedures patients have chosen since the start of the new millennium. According to the annual plastic surgery procedural statistics, there were 15.9 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2015, a 2 percent increase over 2014.

Since 2000, overall procedures have risen 115 percent, but the types of procedures patients are choosing are changing.

"While more traditional facial procedures and breast augmentations are still among the most popular, we're seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address," said ASPS President David H. Song, MD, MBA, FACS. "Patients have more options than ever, and working closely with their surgeon, they're able to focus on specific target areas of the body to achieve the look they desire."

Lifts Lead the List

It used to be that the term was nearly synonymous with facelifts, and while they remain a popular option among patients, other types of lifts are surging.

Since 2000, ASPS statistics show considerable growth in:

  • Breast lifts, up 89 percent (99,614 in 2015, up from 52,836 in 2000)
  • Buttock lifts, up 252 percent (4,767 in 2015, up from 1,356 in 2000)
  • Lower body lifts, up 3,973 percent (8,431 in 2015, up from 207 in 2000)
  • Upper arm lifts, up 4,959 percent (17,099 in 2015, up from 338 in 2000)
The top trends in cosmetic procedures from 2015 are shown. Credit: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Top 5 Cosmetic Surgical and Minimally-Invasive Procedures

While procedures like upper arm lifts and lower body lifts have shown substantial growth, for the first time since at least 2000, facelifts slipped out of the top 5 most-performed procedures last year, giving way to tummy tucks.

Of the 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2015, the top 5 were:

  • Breast augmentation (279,143 procedures, down 2 percent from 2014, up 31 percent from 2000)
  • Liposuction (222,051 procedures, up 5% from 2014 but down 37 percent from 2000)
  • Nose reshaping (217,979 procedures, unchanged from 2014, down 44 percent since 2000)
  • Eyelid surgery (203,934 procedures, down 1 percent from 2014, down 38 percent since 2000)
  • Tummy tuck (127,967 procedures, up 9 percent from 2014 and 104 percent since 2000)

Among the 14.2 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in 2015, the top 5 were:

  • Botulinum Toxin Type A (6.7 million procedures, up 1 percent from 2014 and 759 percent since 2000)
  • Soft Tissue Fillers (2.4 million procedures, up 6 percent from 2014 and 274 percent since 2000)
  • Chemical Peel (1.3 million procedures, up 5 percent from 2014 and 14 percent since 2000)
  • Laser hair removal (1.1 million procedures, unchanged from 2014, but up 52 percent since 2000)
  • Microdermabrasion (800,340 procedures, down 9 percent from 2014 and 8 percent since 2000)

"The number of available providers, lower costs and the less-invasive nature of these procedures obviously appeal to a much broader range of patients," said Dr. Song. "However, we urge anyone who is considering a minimally-invasive procedure to consult with a board-certified, ASPS-member surgeon."

Many of these minimally-invasive procedures are performed by a variety of providers, and not all of them have the expertise or rigorous training of ASPS-member surgeons. "It may not be surgery, but there is still a lot at stake," said Dr. Song. "Before you undergo any procedure, do your homework and make sure you're putting yourself in the hands of only the most most qualified and highly-trained expert available."

Bottoms Up!

New ASPS stats showed that 2015 was another year of the rear, as procedures focusing on the derriere dominated surgical growth. Buttock implants were the fastest growing type of cosmetic surgery in 2015, and, overall, there was a buttock procedure every 30 minutes of every day, on average.

Here are the top procedures related to the bottom in 2015:

  • Buttock augmentation with fat grafting (14,705 procedures, up 28 percent from 2014 to 2015)
  • Buttock lift (4,767 procedures up 36 percent from 2014 to 2015)
  • Buttock implants (2,540 procedures up 36 percent from 2014 to 2015)

For the First Time, Men Account for More than 40 Percent of Breast Reduction Surgeries

There were 68,106 breast reduction surgeries in the United States in 2015, and for the first time men accounted for more than 40 percent of those procedures.

A total of 27,456 breast reduction surgeries (Gynecomastia) were performed on men, representing a 5 percent increase over the previous year and a 35 percent growth since 2000.

"As plastic surgery is becoming more common and accepted in men, we're seeing more of them undergo procedures to tighten and tone problem areas, like the breasts," said Dr. Song. "This procedure is often done in younger men who face genetic challenges with the size and shape of their breasts, and when appropriate, surgery can make a big difference in their lives."

More Breast Cancer Patients Aware of Reconstruction Options

In 2012, ASPS launched a national Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign to educate, engage and empower women to make informed decisions about their healthcare following breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy. We're happy to report that in 2015, the number of reconstruction procedures increased another 4 percent to more than 106,300, and since 2000, the numbers are up a remarkable 35 percent.

"That's encouraging, and we hope to continue to get the word out to all women who are facing breast cancer, so they will be well aware of all their reconstructive options from the outset of diagnosis," said Dr. Song.

Breast reconstruction may be performed using several plastic surgery techniques, depending on which is most clinically appropriate for the patient, and is important to restore the breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Explore further: ASPS: Cosmetic procedures increased 3 percent in 2014

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