New Data Reveals What’s Trending in Plastic Surgery

New Data Reveals What’s Trending in Plastic Surgery featured image
Umur Batur Kocak on Unsplash

Want to know what’s big in aesthetic and cosmetic surgery? The best way to find out is to go straight to the source: the top plastic surgeons working today. And that’s exactly how the Aesthetic Society gets their yearly statistics. Compiling data from over 4,000 members worldwide, the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery stats are a peek behind the curtain and a weather report on plastic surgery trends all in one. And with 10.2 percent growth in aesthetic procedures since 2019, we’re predicting more fabulous-looking days with a high chance of rejuvenation ahead!

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The Latest Data From the Aesthetic Society

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (The Aesthetic Society) is devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine, allowing us a surgically precise view on the trends in plastic surgery. With thousands of members certified by either the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Aesthetic Society report reflects more than 150,000 individual procedures performed by 762 surgeons.

Plastic Surgery on the Rise

Since 2019, the number of aesthetic procedures has increased by 10.2 percent. A big part of that bump was undeniably the impact that COVID had on the world of plastic surgery, but in a post-COVID world, we’re still seeing growth. From 2022 to 2023, aesthetic surgeries saw a 2.9 percent increase, modest but significant in terms of the overall trends.

What’s behind the increase? “I think that a lot of this is still a reaction to what I call the the post-COVID era. People felt a loss of control,” says New York plastic surgeon Aviva Preminger, MD. “They couldn’t exercise or dress up, and now they are embracing the opportunity to look their best. A lot of people gained weight with COVID, and are either rewarding themselves for taking it off, or have given up trying and are seeking assistance to do so.”

And that more modest increase from 2022 to 2023 is also fairly in line with predictions. “I think we’re going to continue to see a return to an equilibrium of sorts,” explains Tuscon, AZ plastic surgeon Raman C. Mahabir. “I doubt we’ll drop below pre-pandemic levels, and that year-over-year growth will likely continue, just not so dramatically.”

The Most Popular Procedure for Your Age Group

But who exactly is getting aesthetic surgery? And what procedures are they getting?

17 and under: Teens, young adults and children make up just .9 percent of all aesthetic surgery patients. As you might imagine, the procedures they’re pursing are a bit different than from adult patients. Ear surgery (at 8,915 procedures) out-paced all other aesthetic procedures by more than 6 times the next most popular surgery, breast reconstruction (at 1,499 procedures).

18-34: This age range has recently become considered the one to watch when it comes to emerging plastic surgery trends, as prejuvenation options to prevent aging have become increasingly popular. Making up 19.5 percent of cosmetic surgery patients, this age group handily prefers breast augmentations (with 96,898 performed in 2023) and liposuction (74,041 performed). The third most popular procedure, the tummy tuck, rounds out the top three with 24,552 procedures performed in 2023, making it clear that breast augmentations and liposuction are leading the way by a wide margin.

35-50: 40 percent of plastic surgery patients are aged 35-50, the largest percentage of any individual age group. A time in life marked by major changes like the first signs of aging, motherhood and menopause, this group’s preferences align with these milestones. Liposuction (194,948 performed in 2023) tops the most popular procedures in this age range, followed by breast augmentation and tummy tucks.

51-64: This age range makes up nearly 30 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients. While signs of aging are certainly higher on the list of priorities for this age group, body contouring and shaping procedures remain top contenders. Liposuction, eyelid surgery and tummy tucks are the top three procedures, with liposuction (100,243 procedures performed in 2023) nearly twice as popular as eyelid surgery (54,678).

65+: Making up 11.9 percent of all aesthetic surgery patients, the over-65 category is dominated by procedures that remedy signs of aging. Facelifts are the most popular procedure with 41,840 performed in 2023, followed by eyelid surgery and liposuction.

Plastic Surgery Trends by Gender

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What Procedures do Women Prefer?

In 2023, women had over 1,561,385 cosmetic procedures. Making up the vast majority of aesthetic patients, women pursued a few procedures at a consistently higher rate than others, with breast augmentations and liposuction leading the way.

369,799 liposuction procedures were performed on women in 2023, making it the top individual procedure among female patients. That said, breast procedures were undeniably dominant. Breast augmentation leads this pack with 247,612 procedures, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Combining breast augmentation, lift, implant removal, and reduction (the four most popular breast procedures for women), we see that a stunning 544,806 breast procedures were performed in 2023.

What Aesthetic Procedures do Men Want?

Making up 6.6 percent of all plastic surgery patients, male cosmetic surgery patients were primarily focused on liposuction and male breast reduction, or gynecomastia. With 24,728 liposuction procedures performed in 2023 and 21,043 gynecomastias, men seem to prioritize body procedures. That said, eyelid and ear surgeries were the third and fourth most popular procedures among men, with 15,498 and 10,808 performed respectively.

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