Medical News Today: Cosmetic surgery is on the rise, new data reveal

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons have published new statistics that reveal recent trends in body-shaping procedures.
Doctor marking plastic surgery patient
A new report shows which cosmetic procedures were most popular in 2018.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), almost 18 million people underwent surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2018.

This total means that there were almost a quarter of a million more procedures in 2018 than in 2017.

Cosmetic surgical procedures have been on the rise in the U.S. over the past 5 years.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is essential to understand the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery focuses on body enhancement, while plastic surgery reconstructs body parts that have sustained damage due to disease, burns, or trauma.

Motivating factors

The authors of an earlier study in the United Kingdom analyzed 204 questionnaires to identify the factors that drive people to undergo cosmetic surgery.

The questionnaires included questions about self-esteem, life satisfaction, self-rated physical attractiveness, religiosity, attitude toward cosmetic surgery, and media consumption.

The researchers wanted to understand which factors influenced a person’s likelihood of opting for cosmetic surgery. They were also keen to determine the factors that affected people’s perceived benefits of undergoing these procedures.

The results showed that religious beliefs and low self-esteem were significant predictors of likelihood, while predictors for perceived benefits included religiousness, media consumption, life satisfaction, and biological sex.

The findings showed that women who rated their self-esteem, life satisfaction, and attractiveness as low, had few religious beliefs, and had high media exposure were more likely to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Although women were generally more attracted to cosmetic surgery, the number of men considering these procedures was significant.

The study also highlighted the powerful effects of media exposure and religiousness. People who had more exposure to the media believed that cosmetic surgery brought more benefits, while religious individuals were more likely to perceive cosmetic surgery as something in direct contrast with their beliefs.

Top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures in 2018

The ASPS reported that the top five procedures in 2018 were:

  1. Breast augmentation — 313,735 procedures.
  2. Liposuction — 258,558 procedures.
  3. Nose reshaping — 213,780 procedures.
  4. Eyelid surgery — 206,529 procedures.
  5. Tummy tuck — 130,081 procedures.

While breast augmentation and liposuction rose by 4 and 5 percent respectively from 2017, there was a slight decrease in facial procedures.

The number of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures also increased in 2018. The three most popular procedures were Botulinum toxin type A (Botox), soft tissue fillers, and chemical peels, which were up by 3, 2, and 1 percent respectively from 2017.

The focus is on the body

Data from the ASPS show that three of the top five surgical procedures in 2018 focused on the body. The number of liposuction procedures increased by more than 12,000, while surgeons performed more than 13,000 additional breast augmentations.

The slight reduction in the number of people having the most popular facial procedures is likely to be due to the availability of alternative options, such as nonsurgical nose reshaping and eyelid puffiness improvement. In addition, it is now possible for surgeons to perform specialized procedures for different areas of the face and neck without doing a full facelift.

With liposuction, one treatment may be all you need to reshape problem areas. A plastic surgeon can treat more areas — and larger areas — in one procedure.”

ASPS President Dr. Alan Matarasso

Dr. Matarasso continues, “Liposuction also provides a more consistent and predictable result than noninvasive treatments, but new nonsurgical fat reduction machinery continues to evolve and play a role in reshaping areas of the body.”

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery recommend that people who are interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery carefully consider training, education, experience, and demonstrated practice history when selecting a provider.

A board-certified plastic surgeon can help a person explore all the available options and choose the best one, which will often include a combination of surgical and nonsurgical procedures.

“Our board-certified plastic surgeons take into account each patient’s specific objective and anatomy to come up with the best course of action to achieve the natural look they want,” concludes Matarasso.

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