Big Butts, Man Boobs and What the Latest Plastic Surgery Trends Say About Beauty Culture

As plastic surgery trends grow each year, the stigma surrounding having a little work done has become virtually nonexistent. The question, “Should I have a cosmetic procedure?” seems to have now been replaced by “When will I have a cosmetic procedure?” According to the annual report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), cosmetic procedures have increased by 115 percent in the last 15 years. With more and more people opting for some sort for aesthetic improvement, it’s no wonder that in the last year alone, 15.9 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. These growing numbers reflect the changing face (no pun intended) of plastic surgery. 

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More Noninvasive Choices

According to the report, the top five surgical procedures in 2015 were breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tucks. The most requested nonsurgical procedures include botulinum toxin (like Botox, Dysport and Xeomin), soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion. 

Nonsurgical procedures have been on the rise for several years now, and Santa Monica, CA, dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD, says it’s due to the increase in options that keep surgery at bay. “With the advent of lasers, injections and other noninvasive options, what we’re seeing is people who don’t have to go under the knife to get a pretty significant improvement in the way they look,” says Dr. Grossman. “People don’t have to worry about looking over-pulled or overdone now, and if you start doing smaller things at a younger age, you can slow down the aging process. We used to focus more on correction, but now we're focusing more on prevention.”

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We Like Big Butts

When you think of how much importance our culture has put on the derrière, it should be no surprise that butt enhancement procedures continue to grow in popularity. While buttock augmentations with fat grafting and butt lifts are still the most popular procedures being performed on the backside, butt implants was the fastest growing type of plastic surgery last year, up 36 percent from 2014. According to the numbers, there was on average one buttock-related procedure performed every 30 minutes. “The bigger butt went mainstream in the late ’90s and 2000s thanks to celebrities famous for their curves like Jennifer Lopez, Nikki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. The emphasis on the fuller, rounder butt has had a huge impact on the increase in women choosing to have buttock enhancement surgery,” says Miami plastic surgeon Daniel Careaga, MD. 

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Lifts Are Up

The statistics show a significant growth in surgical lifts since 2000. Breast lifts are up 89 percent and buttock lifts are up 252 percent. While a breast lift and buttock lift were somewhat common procedures 15 years ago, two types of lifts that have made a staggering jump in popularity since the millennium are lower body lifts, up 3,973 percent and upper arm lifts, up 4,959 percent.

ASPS president and Chicago plastic surgeon David H. Song, MD, says the numbers prove that patients are now selectively targeting more specific areas of the body. “We’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address,” says Dr. Song. “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.”

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The Decline of Man Boobs

The number of men seeking a breast reduction is one telltale sign that plastic surgery isn’t reserved for just women. In 2015, for the first time ever, more than 40 percent of breast reductions were performed on men. More than 27,000 breast reductions (gynecomastia surgeries to eliminate “man boobs”) were performed on men; up 5 percent since 2014 and 35 percent more than in 2000. 

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Reconstruction After Surgery

Breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients has grown 35 percent since 2000, with more than 106,000 procedures performed last year. There have been extensive advances in post-lumpectomy or mastectomy aesthetic solutions, and now more than ever women are opting for post-treatment reconstruction surgery. "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," says Dr. Song.

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