A Look at the Statistics and Trends in Cosmetic Surgery

A Look at the Statistics and Trends in Cosmetic Surgery

06th Nov 2017

The numbers speak for itself! Based on the recent study released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it seems that America’s obsession with cosmetic surgery procedures is here to stay. More and more Americans are going under the knife to improve and alter their appearances. There has also been an increase in the demand for plastic surgeons in the United States. Procedural statistics show that both men and women are increasingly turning to plastic surgery to address various concerns and body issues. Advances in technology and medicine have also provided patients with an array of invasive and non-invasive options to choose from. While the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures more or less maintained their ranks, there has also been a slight shift as less known procedures are showing steady and positive growth.

The annual studies released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons establish the continuing dominance of plastic surgery as one of the booming industries in the medical industry. New statistics report that there were 17.1 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic surgeries performed in 2016. In 2015, there were 15.9 million cosmetic surgery procedures performed. This number represents both invasive and non-invasive procedures. There was a 2% increase in plastic surgery procedures performed in 2015 from 2014.

Some statistics

Statistics has also shown that plastic surgeons have helped improve the lives of many Americans through cosmetic surgery by correcting deformations acquired genetically, or as a result of trauma or disease. People elect to have plastic surgery for different reasons. According to a recent study, some of the motivators for plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery are aging or fear of age-related discrimination, life satisfaction and self-esteem, social anxiety or shame, desire to correct a deformation, desire to look younger, and the desire to look young, beautiful or handsome for professional advancement. Going under the knife for plastic surgery is an important and personal decision that you need to carefully consider and think over. If it is done for good and valid reasons, it will deliver positive results for you but if it is because of some futile quest for perfection, you are then setting yourself up for disappointment.


Undeniably, billions of dollars have been spent on plastic surgery, which underscores the global obsession with beauty, in general, and physical enhancement, in particular. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that in 2015, Americans spent over $13 billion on cosmetic surgery, both nonsurgical and surgical. For 2014 and 2015 combined, there was an increase of $1.5 billion spent in both surgical and nonsurgical procedure. A study by the same body also revealed that there were about 1,912,468 surgical procedures performed in 2015, which represents a 7% increase. Nonsurgical procedures, which were performed in 2015, were about 10,879,909. In 2015 the number of nonsurgical procedures performed increased by 22%. This figure was projected to increase in 2016 and 2017 as the number of Americans seeking nonsurgical plastic surgery procedures increase.

Liposuction was the most popular surgical procedure performed with the number standing at 396,048 procedures. Generally, there has been a 39% increase in the number of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States since 2011. Nonsurgical procedures increased by 44% and surgical procedures increased by 17% since 2011.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, based on data covering 2014 and 2015, the following surgical procedures registered astonishing increase in percentage as presented below:

Surgical Procedure Percentage increase (%)
Male breast reduction 58%
Buttock lift 39%
Microdermabrasion 34%
Tattoo removal 32%
Skin tightening (Nonsurgical) 26%

There was a 215% increase in injectables such as Botox, Perlane, Ultra Plus, Juvederm Ultra, Dysport, and Belotero.

Of all the cosmetic surgery procedures performed last year, 61.9% procedures were performed in an office facility, 11.9% in hospitals and 26% in free-standing surgical centers across the United States.

Here are the top five (5) surgical procedures performed in 2015:

Procedure Total Number
Liposuction 396,048
Breast Augmentation 305,856
Tummy Tuck 180,717
Eyelid surgery 169,708
Breast lift 148,967

Top five (5) nonsurgical procedures performed in 2015:

Procedure Total Number
Botox 4,267,038
Hyaluronic acid 2,148,326
Hair removal 1,136,834
Chemical peel 603,305
Microdermabrasion 557,690

Here are the top surgical procedures performed in 2016 among women:

Liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck, breast augmentation and breast lift. The number of women who went under the knife for different plastic surgery procedures was over 11 million. This represents 90% of plastic surgery procedures performed. The number of men who went for plastic surgery procedures both surgical and nonsurgical was over 1.2 million. Since 1997, there has been a 325% increase in cosmetic surgery procedures among men.

What was the trend in cosmetic surgery procedures performed among different age groups in the United States?

Age Group Percentage
51-64 30.2%
19-34 17.5%
Over 65 10.2%
Under 18 1.7%

Here are the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed per age group:

Age Group Procedure
Under 18 Ear surgery
19-34 Breast augmentation
35-50 Liposuction
51-64 Liposuction
Over 65 Eyelid surgery

Did you know …

• This year, Rhinoplasty procedure was replaced by breast lift procedure as the fifth most popular surgical procedure.

• Use of injections such as Hyaluronic acid became very popular between 2015 and 2016 as one of the most popular nonsurgical procedures performed.

• Botulinum toxin is one of the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic surgery procedures performed for the last ten years.

Over 58% of total expenditures of Americans were on cosmetic surgery procedures. This shows that Americans spent more money on surgical procedures than in nonsurgical procedures.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in collaboration with an independent research firm, has been conducting studies on cosmetic surgery trends every year since 1997. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, paper-based and online questionnaires are made available to the 30,000 strong board-certified surgeons. Data is gathered from approximately 750-850 of those surgeons, annually.

There has been a continuous growth in the number of Americans going for cosmetic surgery over the years. Studies show that this increase is due to the advancements in plastic surgery and the popularity of different plastic surgery procedures.

Since 2000, there has been a shift in the areas of the body Americans are choosing to address. According to different studies, patients now have more options to choose from in cosmetic surgery procedures.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics also reveal that since 2000, there has been considerable growth in the following procedures:

  • Breast lift procedures up by 89%
  • Upper arm lifts increased to 17,099 in 2015 from 338 in 2000
  • Lower body lift increased to 8431 in 2015 from 207 in 2000.

According to an anonymous board-certified plastic surgeon based in Ney York, any plastic surgery patient planning to undergo any type of cosmetic surgery should first seek advice from a board certified plastic surgeon. A number of providers perform many cosmetic surgery procedures in the US these days, and in most cases, not all of them are certified, experienced and trained to perform these procedures. Before going under the knife, it is important to do research and gather as much information about the procedure and the surgeon who will perform the procedure.

Aesthetic breast surgeries performed in the United States last year were over 68,000 and for the first time in many years, men accounted for over 40% of the breast reduction procedures. About 27,000 gynecomastia procedures were performed on men. This number represents a 35% increase since 2000. Indeed, it appears that plastic surgery has become very popular among American men these days. This is why projections show that in the near future, we can expect to see more men undergoing various plastic surgery procedures.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed among men. It is a procedure mostly performed among men with gynecomastia.

From studies and data gathered, just like in 2015, it is predicted that 2016 would still be the banner year of the butt. Butt augmentation procedures were performed every 30 minutes last year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics, it looks like butt augmentation will not take a back seat anytime soon. It is one of the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures. More and more Americans are going for butt augmentation procedure to increase the projection, size and shape of their buttocks. Buttock lift, buttock implants and butt augmentation with implants or using fats injections are some of the most common butt procedures performed.


All cosmetic surgery procedures are usually safe especially for patients who are generally healthy. This could explain its popularity and why more and more Americans will continue to undergo cosmetic surgery procedures in the years to come.

Advancements in medicine and technology can also account for the amazing growth in the industry, as there are now more affordable options available for the patients to choose from. People elect to have plastic surgery for various reasons. A contributing factor could also be the substantial influence of a number of A-list celebrities and Hollywood stars who go under the knife to increase the size of their butts, to look younger and correct imperfections, not to mention, the constant flow of information from social media that has made cosmetic surgery a fashionable trend.

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