Trends in Plastic Surgery

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2021 trends in plastic surgeryThrough the months of pandemic, upheaval and economic turmoil, at least one trend line has pointed consistently upward: the increasing popularity of plastic surgery.

A recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) suggests that more Americans than ever have considered a body contouring or facial rejuvenation procedure, and there is widespread awareness among the public of the benefits of plastic surgery. Here, experienced Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson reviews the data.

High Marks

As part of its tracking of market behavior, the ASPS conducted a study in May of consumer sentiment. It found that nearly half of Americans who had not previously undergone a plastic surgery procedure were receptive to doing so in the near future. Patients who had undergone at least one procedure in the past are even more likely to choose a second one, according to the organization.

ASPS followed that up with a survey of its own members, and discovered that nearly two-thirds of plastic surgery practices saw an increase in virtual or “telemedicine” consultations in the spring of 2020. Based on these interactions with patients, ASPS members reported heightened interest in the following procedures: injectables such as dermal fillers, followed by Botox, breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers, liposuction and tummy tuck.

Prospective patients may still have some of the traditional fears associated with surgical procedures, such as pain, scarring and the possibility of a disappointing or unnatural-looking result. But extrapolating from the ASPS data, it seems clear that most Americans are confident that doctors are taking the necessary steps to keep patients safe and offices immaculate.

Surgical vs. Noninvasive Choices

Both surgical and noninvasive procedures have risen in popularity, with body contouring accounting for the largest share of the surgical increase. In 2019, body contouring surgeries represented six of the top 10 procedures: breast augmentation (299,715 surgeries performed), liposuction (265,209), eyelid surgery (211,005), rhinoplasty (207,284), facelift (123,685), tummy tuck (123,427), breast lift (113,188), dermabrasion (77,366), neck lift (54,852) and breast reduction (46,340).

Injectables have charted another upward trend line, rising at a pace slightly faster than the increase in surgical procedures. Although patients and doctors alike tend to be excited about the newest, most innovative dermal fillers, the popularity leader is actually one of the oldest injectables: Botox (Botulinum toxin type A).

In 2019 there were 7.69 million Botox injections, the highest number ever. Dermal fillers were next with 2.72 million procedures, with chemical peels at 1.38 million, laser hair removal at one million, and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments at 685,755.

Testing the Waters

A slight leveling off in rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery is evidence of another clear trend among patients — a preference for trying noninvasive solutions before opting for surgery. Patients are now more likely to seek injections of dermal fillers to make subtle changes to the shape and profile of the nose before choosing rhinoplasty. And these collagen-stimulating injectables are increasingly used to improve the appearance of skin around the eyes before blepharoplasty or brow lift is chosen. 

To learn more about cosmetic and plastic surgery options, schedule your personal consultation with experienced Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson by calling (916) 929-1833 or emailing our office today.