surgeon-in-operating-roomEvery spring, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) releases statistics indicating current trends in cosmetic medicine. I am always interested to see what the numbers have to say.

From the 2015 plastic surgery statistics, we learn that nearly 2 million men and women in America underwent a cosmetic surgery procedure last year; this does not count the almost 11 million non-surgical procedures that were performed.

Other notable highlights:

  • Liposuction was the most popular cosmetic surgery with 396,048 total procedures performed, while injectable neurotoxins (such as BOTOX) dominated non-surgical cosmetic treatments with 4,267,038 procedures performed.
  • Body contouring surgeries showed the highest rates of growth: Buttock lift surgery increased by more than 32%, male breast reductions increased by 25%, and liposuction increased by 15%.
  • Cosmetic surgery for men surpassed the 10% mark for procedures performed. Male breast reduction showed the highest increase (up 26% from 2014), while liposuction, rhinoplasty, facelift and eyelid surgery rounded out the top 5 spots.

While there are a number of interesting trends revealed in the 2015 statistics, there’s one thing I find particularly telling when looking at the numbers. While non-surgical treatments experienced substantial growth, this was not at the expense of surgical solutions. In fact, surgical procedures were up 17% as a whole.

This fact illuminates a few important points about the staying-power of cosmetic surgery:

  • There is no substitute for the hands of a skilled, experienced plastic surgeon. While non-surgical alternatives often promise results comparable to surgery, the truth is that only a small percentage of patients see the dramatic improvements you may see in advertised in before and after photos.
  • Consistently high-ranking surgeries such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and facelift surgery will remain popular. As surgical techniques continue to advance, recovery becomes less of a barrier for patients desiring the more dramatic, tried-and-true results that only plastic surgery can attain.

The trends and changes illustrated in the ASAPS statistics reflect what I experience in my own Scottsdale plastic surgery practice. While non-surgical injectables and skin care are increasingly popular options among my patients, these treatments are used just as often to enhance surgical results as they are as solitary procedures. In the future, I expect cosmetic medicine will continue to include a full spectrum of non-surgical treatments and surgical solutions to meet a variety of patients’ needs.

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