The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has spoken – the cosmetic plastic surgery statistics are in and we now know just how many patients contributed to the whopping 15,908,330 procedures performed in the United States last year alone (that number includes both surgical and minimally-invasive procedures). While we still see the trend of nonsurgical treatments surging, surgical plastic surgery collectively saw a 2% increase since 2015 (sitting nicely with just over 1.7 million total cosmetic procedures performed). In a field where breast enhancement long dominated the charts, let’s look at the most popular plastic surgery procedures of 2015, and more specifically, why these procedures may have experienced the surge they did.
What I found most interesting when checking out the stats is that the biggest increase in popularity occurred among body contouring and male plastic surgery procedures. It doesn’t give any specific reason behind this shift but I would guess that it has to do with a wider acceptance of elective procedures on a world-wide scale, an influx in men who see many of the same benefits women see as pertaining to the positive outcomes plastic surgery can promote, or it could merely be that people are finding plastic surgery more affordable with a greater level of attainability than ever before. Whatever the case may be, liposuction, tummy tuck, and male breast reduction took the most improved prizes this year:
- Statistics: 222,051 procedures were performed in 2015, a 5% increase from 210,552 last year.
- What it treats: Small amounts of fat located on the stomach, legs, back, love handles, chest, saddlebags, arms, buttocks, chin, and even knees and around the ankles.
- How it works: Liposuction is not a weight loss tool but it works to sculpt the body by removing fat that won’t seem to budge with proper diet and exercise. Using a very thin tube, called a cannula, inserted into small incisions in the skin, fat deposits are targeted and physically removed with a suction-like method so the treated area on the body can no longer accumulate fat.
- Ideal candidates: Men and women both can benefit from this body contouring procedure and patients who have unwanted, isolated pockets of fat can most benefit from liposuction results (and those who want to go the nonsurgical route – SculpSure™ is the newest fat reduction technology system to produce liposuction-like results, in half the time as other outdated nonsurgical fat reduction systems, without the required downtime).
- Statistics: 127,967 procedures were performed in 2015, a 9% increase from 117,158 last year.
- What it treats: Areas of concern around the abdomen including stubborn fat, weakened abdominal muscles (tummy pooch), and/or excess skin on the lower part of the body.
- How it works: The main objective for any tummy tuck result is to create a flatter abdomen. First incisions are made in the lower region of the abdominal (imagine a line drawn between the hips horizontally; allowing scars to be easily hidden underneath underwear or bikini bottoms), then loose skin and unwanted fat are removed, and if needed, followed by repairing the weakened abdominal muscles. As added benefit to my tummy tuck patients, I have finessed a specialized tummy tuck technique called the Scarpa Fascia technique which gives me the ability to create a more hourglass shape for patients (once only achievable by combining liposuction). The waistline is shapelier thanks to more curvature and definition of the abdomen, recovery time is quicker, and the stomach flatter.
- Ideal candidates: Patients in generally good health, mothers who have finished having children (because additional pregnancies could reverse a patient’s tummy tuck results), or men and women who have lost significant weight and are looking to shed the extra hanging skin make optimal tummy tuck candidates.
Male Breast Reduction
- Statistics: 27,456 procedures were performed in 2015, a 5% increase from 26,175 last year.
- What it treats: Gynecomastia – a condition among men that causes overly large breasts.
- How it works: Male breast reduction works by first removing the extra fat in the breasts, addressing excess tissue and loose skin, and then combining liposuction to further produce a flattened chest.
- Ideal candidates: Men who are not happy with the appearance of their breasts and want to improve the proportion of their chest in relation to their overall physique see great benefit from male breast reduction.
If I had to guess, I imagine these trends will only continue to grow as more and more people become familiar with the life-changing aspects of plastic surgery and as advancements in plastic surgery technology and techniques continue to exponentially improve. Check out the infographic ASPS released for more on all of the top cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of 2015 and give Southern Plastic Surgery a call at 770-622-9100 to schedule your complimentary consultation to get your own journey started. Stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube for more plastic surgery updates and insider tips.