Cosmetic surgery on the rise across the Atlantic

If events in America are anything to go by, it’s clear that the boom in popularity of aesthetic surgery procedures isn’t going to end anytime soon.

According to new data published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic surgery procedures across the board continued to increase last year, meaning that there has been a 132% growth in aesthetic procedures between 2000 and 2016. And that’s not including reconstructive surgeries due to injury, disease, or gender confirmation.

Although 2016 was a relatively calm year for cosmetic procedures, the number continued to rise upwards. Not only was there a 4% rise in cosmetic surgical procedures (such as liposuction and breast augmentation), there was also a 3% increase in minimally invasive procedures, such as Botox injections, body contouring, peels and lasers, and mole removal. An interesting stat: only 10.4% of the 17.2 million total cosmetic procedures in the USA last year were surgical, but they added up to a cost of $8.05 billion – nearly half of all money spent last year at aesthetic clinics across the Pond.

Let’s break down the figures, then:

Reshaping wins by a nose

When it comes to what part of their bodies Americans threw money at last year for invasive surgery, nose reshaping edged out breast augmentation by a ‘mere’ $200,000 million - $1.1bn to $1.08bn. Facelifts came in third ($942m), followed by liposuction and tummy tucks ($752m and $740m respectively), then eyelid surgery ($631m) and breast lifts ($469). Interestingly (and unsurprisingly) enough, the majority of US cosmetic surgeries in total are still conducted on the west coast, but the most nose jobs are conducted in the northeast.

It’s still a female thing

Although there’s a distinct rise amongst men in many cosmetic procedures, there’s still a massive imbalance between the sexes when it comes to weight of numbers1 – even when you take out breast-related procedures. Amongst men who underwent a surgical procedure, nose reshaping was the most popular option, followed by eyelid treatment, liposuction, facelifts and tummy tucks. The tide is turning, though: while male treatment occupied a mere 13% of the 1.65 million invasive procedures in the US, that’s a jump of 28% compared to the beginning of the century.

Breasts on the rise, but its eyes down

The statistics for US cosmetic procedures since 2000 make for interesting reading: the former No.1 procedure – nose reshaping – has dropped to No.3. While liposuction is still the second most popular procedure, the number of procedures have dropped by over 100,000 per year. But the rise of breast augmentation procedures has rocketed from no.4 to No.1. Facelifts have kept a pretty steady course year-on-year, and breast lifts are starting to become more routine.

So what does this say about the state of aesthetic surgery in the US – and what knock-on effects will be felt over here? It’s pretty clear to us that although the pressure to look as good as possible is stronger than ever – particularly with the rise in social media, and the fact that we’re having far more photos taken of ourselves than ever – but it’s more likely that public confidence in aesthetic surgery combined with the eradication of the stigma of relying on a little help from an expert is resulting in a boom in procedures.