Americans Spend Billions on Plastic Surgery, Focus More on Face Rather Than Fat

Americans are spending more on plastic surgery than ever before, according to a new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Between 2010 and 2016, there has been a 132% increase in the number of plastic surgeries performed in the United States. This number only represents cosmetic surgeries, not reconstructive surgeries due to injuries, illnesses, or gender confirmation surgery.

The majority of these procedures were performed between 2010 and 2015, and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the increase was mostly attributed to invasive surgery that requires extensive downtime. In fact, there was only a 3% jump in minimally invasive procedures such as laser hair removal and Botox.

Laser hair removal is a relatively simple process, wherein an FDA-approved laser system is used to target pigment granules and destroy the hair follicle. Each person requires between four to six treatments, as a person’s hair growth cycle is divided into three phases. Botox is also quite popular as it is non-invasive yet still delivers relatively fast results. In fact, 82% of Botox patients reported seeing an improvement within one week of their treatment. Patients also enjoy Botox treatments as they are not permanent, and one injection typically lasts only four months.

Not only do more complex surgical procedures require more recovery time, they’re also much more expensive. For example, in 2016 the most popular cosmetic surgery was a nose-reshaping rhinoplasty, and Americans spent $1.1 billion on this surgery. Second in line was breast augmentation, with Americans spending $1.08 billion, and the facelift came in third at $924 million.

Following these top three procedures were liposuction, the tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and the breast lift in descending order. Even still, the prices for these surgeries were quite substantial, too. For perspective, the breast lift came was the seventh most popular treatment and still totaled $469 million in 2016 alone.

In total, 10.4% of the 17.2 million cosmetic procedures performed nationwide last year were surgical, yet they represented $8.05 billion worth of spending. However, the popularity of each procedure differed all across the country. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons went on to report the popularity of each procedure in each region of the country.

The majority of these procedures happened on the West Coast, but those on the East Coast had more rhinoplasties than anywhere else in the country. Those in the Southeast and Midwest had the lowest number of surgeries; however, there wasn’t that big of a regional distinction between breast augmentations, liposuctions, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery.

There was another major trend highlighted by the report: men choosing to have plastic surgery. American men represented 13% of the 1.65 million invasive plastic surgeries performed in 2016, which is an increase of 28% within the past 16 years. But while liposuction was the most popular procedure requested by women, nose reshaping was the surgery of choice for men, and by quite a wide margin. For example, there were more than 55,000 nose reshaping surgeries received by men, but the second most popular surgery among men, an eyelid lift, only totaled 30,958.

With these results in mind, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has determined that Americans are focusing more on changing and sculpting their faces rather than eliminating excess fat, a departure from years past.

In the age of the selfie, more Americans are spending money to get the face they want.

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