America’s Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures: What the Doctors Have to Say

plastic surgery trends

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently released its much-awaited 2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics report, in which it notes a shift in the types of procedures patients are undergoing and an increasingly broad socio-economic range of clients seeking out cosmetic enhancements.

The total number of procedures has more than doubled since 2000, and “while more traditional facial procedures and breast augmentations are still among the most popular, we’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address,” says ASPS President David H. Song.

The report, which is based on results from a survey sent out to 30,000 board-certified physicians, shows that buttocks procedures are growing in popularity, as women across the country aspire to the “Kim Kardashian” silhouette. Breast augmentation remains the most popular procedure however, with close to 280,000 operations performed. There were also close to 70,000 breast reduction surgeries in 2015, of which 40 percent were done on men with gynecomastia.

2015 plastic surgery statistics infographic

We asked plastic surgeons in ten cities across the United States to comment on these numbers and tell us more about the trends they see taking shape.

Beverly Hills, CA — Drs. Payman Danielpour and John Layke

drs danielpour and layke

Beverly Hills is dictated by the trends in Hollywood, so there is more transgender surgery, butt enhancement surgery, and non-invasive facial rejuvenation such as lip and cheek fillers.  The media continues to glorify and perpetuate these looks.

Using non-invasive measures to improve skin texture and tone helps to keep a more classic and natural look. We are hoping that the next trend will be “less is more,” and that the “natural, yet rejuvenated” look will be the way to go.

Miami, FL — Dr. Daniel Careaga

dr daniel careaga

Non-invasive body contouring is hot… And by hot, I mean SculpSure by Cynosure, which uses the same laser technology as SmartLipo to melt fat under the skin without surgery. Fat grafting allows me to shape the butt and augment the hips to give a sexy hourglass silhouette, while patients who do not have enough fat are candidates for gluteal implants.

On a darker note, Miami has become “Ground Zero” for illegal buttocks injections. I continuously see patients who have been severely injured by unlicensed practitioners who tell their victims that they are injecting “biopolymer.” Biopolymer is a non-sterile industrial grade silicone. The consequences can be severe, leading to disfigurement or even death.

Chicago, IL — Dr. John Q. Cook

john q cook

As all patients recognize the limits of what fillers, relaxants, and tightening devices can accomplish, the face-lift has returned. Non-invasive treatments are wonderful, but when pushed to extremes, they create some very bizarre results. Consequently, there is an increasing emphasis on naturalism in both surgical and non-surgical results.

Facial fat transfer is popular — I’ve combined fat transfer and face-lifts for the better part of 20 years. This solves the two main problems of the aging face: structural descent and volume loss. Also on the rise are breast lifts and “mommy makeover” procedures, which combine abdominoplasty and breast surgery. Men are also paying greater attention to their appearance, with an increased interest in neck lifts and restoring facial volume.

Seattle, WA — Dr. Nicholas Flugstad

dr nicholas flugstad

I’m seeing more patients who are interested in fat transfers to the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift), as reported by the ASPS. But looking natural is important to Seattle patients, so non-invasive procedures are also increasing in popularity. For example, there has been an increase in demand for anatomic-shaped breast implants, which help achieve more natural results.

We’re always working to develop and improve techniques so patients can get the results they’re looking for: men are getting more comfortable with having cosmetic surgery to look their best, so we’re also doing more and more liposuction for male patients and seeing an increase in gynecomastia breast tissue removal surgeries.

Salt Lake City, UT — Dr. Renato Saltz

dr renato saltz

In Salt Lake City we’re seeing much more body contouring procedures, mommy makeovers, as well as spa treatments like injectables, Thermage, Coolsculpting and XEO laser skin care.

People here are very open to cosmetic surgery and will do whatever it takes to age beautifully and gracefully, either through cosmetic surgery or non-invasive treatments. Fat injections and liposuction are very popular these days, and — thanks to Kim Kardashian — we’re also seeing a strong interest in buttocks enhancement.

Bel Air, MD — Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz

dr jeffrey horowitz

Breasts are out and butts are in! The current trend towards smaller breast implants can likely be traced to actress Kate Hudson and model Gigi Hadid. The Brazilian Butt Lift — the Kim Kardashian look — allows surgeons to impart a curvier shape, without necessarily making the butt much larger.

Another upcoming trend is Kybella, a fat-melting injection that has recently been introduced by Allergan. For now, it’s only indicated for the “double chin,” but as more experience is gained I predict it will be used in other areas of the body as well. Scientists are also working on a topical version of Botox, which allows the benefits of wrinkle relaxation without the discomfort of the injections.

Dallas, TX — Dr. Gregory J. Stagnone

dr. stagnone

There is a reported trend to smaller breast implants, but maybe there is some truth to the old saying about things being “bigger in Texas.” In my very large augmentation practice, the most commonly used implants are high profile – in the 450cc range. Dallas is a notoriously proud and “flashy” city.

Younger patients are coming in for Botox and fillers to enhance the face. We’re also seeing a steady increase in mommy makeovers and breast lifts. For men, Kybella is growing quickly too. Chin implants seem to really have been “discovered,” and we definitely continue to see interest in male contouring for the breast area, carefully done eyelid surgery, and neck contouring. Early middle-aged men are discovering that subtler surgery holds back the clock over time more naturally than waiting until things are further along.

Scottsdale, AZ — Dr. Robert Cohen

dr robert cohen

One geographical trend is that patients in warmer climates are more interested in breast and body aesthetic surgery, as they tend to wear less clothing than their counterparts in colder cities. I perform a lot of breast surgery and can say that in the last few years, patients in the U.S. have had more high-quality implant options than they had available in the last 20 years combined.

In general, a preference for natural results, multiple smaller procedures and non-invasive maintenance (like Botox and fillers) starts at a younger age. Autologous, or fat grafting, is also becoming more popular. More men are coming to my practice, with the most common problem being gynecomastia. Some of these patients are young, late teens-early 20’s, but quite a few are in their 30-60’s too, and the surgery provides a huge improvement in their self-confidence.

Denver, CO — Dr. Manish Shah

dr manish shah

In Denver we’re seeing an increase in buttocks augmentation and CoolSculpting. The average patient in my practice is in good shape. Non-invasive fat loss technology usage is increasing, because despite adequate diet and exercise, these patients have spot areas of fat they still can’t get rid of.

Patients are shying away from surgery and more willing to try non-invasive treatments first. In the future, I see more treatment options involving cellular therapies, such as PRP and stem cells. The changing face of the average patient in my practice shows an increase in ethnic plastic surgery procedures. And men are feeling less stigma, so they are more comfortable coming in. Younger patients are driven by social media but have limited funds, so they choose minimally invasive treatments such as Botox, fillers, and skincare.

Boston, MA — Dr. Joseph Russo

dr joseph russo

In men, blepharoplasty (upper and lower eyelid lifts), liposuction, and male breast reduction are gaining popularity. In women, I’m seeing a strong demand for gummy bear implants, tummy tucks, breast lifts, face lifts, and liposuction.

ThermiGen is a non-invasive treatment I use a lot with my liposuction patients: it’s a brand new technology that uses radio frequency to heat the skin from the inside, causing a contraction of the collagen fibers and a tightening of the skin. This enhances the results of liposuction surgery tremendously.

I believe that people are far more aware of the signs of aging today and want to be proactive — I’ve noticed that patients come see me at a much younger age. Fortunately, plastic surgery is more affordable and requires less recovery time than it used to, making it accessible to a broader range of patients.

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