We Analyzed 6.5 Million Plastic Surgery Patients. Here’s What We Learned.

girl studying plastic surgery

It is no secret that plastic surgery is a booming business. The number of people who undergo plastic surgery has kept increasing by a significant number every year.

To understand this intriguing world that is changing millions of lives, we analyzed 6.5 million plastic surgery patients.

The main areas we covered included top cosmetic surgical procedure, plastic surgery trends according to ethnicity, and an increase in the number of men who undergo plastic surgery, among others.

We understand that plastic surgery is a common procedure in many countries across the world. In fact, South Korea has bagged the title of the “Plastic Surgery Capital of the World.” However, doing a global study required more resources and human power than we could muster. Therefore the analysis of the patients was conducted in the United States.

All the data in this study was taken from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS.

To say that we uncovered interesting data and findings is an understatement. After a considerable amount of time spent on the study, we are ready to share these intriguing results with you.

Here is the highlight of our findings from the study.

  1. Breast augmentation remains the top cosmetic surgical procedure across the board. It has been in the top spot since 2006 and continues to increase by as much as 4% every year.
  2. In the minimally invasive category, Botox or Botulinum toxin type A continues to claim the top spot. The number of procedures keeps rising by as much as 3% every year.
  3. Individuals in the age group of 40 to 54 constitute as much as 49% of the cosmetic procedure. They make up the majority of all cosmetic procedures performed.
  4. Plastic surgery among the teens witnessed a dramatic decline in 2018 as compared to the previous years. The overall percentage of cosmetic procedures fell by almost 2% percent.
  5. Among the ethnicities, Caucasians are at the top with as many as 12.9 million individuals undergoing one or more cosmetic procedures.
  6. The top trend among women and men is body enhancement procedures. Among them, liposuction has witnessed a good increase with as much as 5% growth than the previous years.
  7. As much as 16.5 billion was poured into the plastic surgery industry in 2018 in the United States alone.
  8. An increasing number of men have also taken to cosmetic procedures to enhance their physical appearances. They constitute 8% of all cosmetic procedures that are performed.
  9. In the United States, the Pacific or the Mountain region had the most cosmetic procedures. They constituted as much as 30% of all cosmetic surgery procedures and 29% of all cosmetic minimally invasive procedures.
  10. Tumor removal was the most common form of reconstructive surgery, with as much as 75% among the Caucasians.

The detailed data, along with the necessary information, are presented below.

Breast augmentation is the top cosmetic procedure. 

Breast enhancements have been a favorite topic for a long time, so this was hardly any surprise. However, the number of procedure that was being performed annually was staggering. As much as 313,735 people had undergone breast augmentation in 2018 alone. This number continues to grow by as much as 4% every year.

The most common and preferred implants are the silicone, which constituted about 88%, while saline implants constituted 12% of all breast implants.

This is closely followed by liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and tummy tuck. Overall, the total number of cosmetic procedures that were performed in 2018 was an astonishing 17.7 million.

top cosmetic procedures american canada

Botox continues to be in the top spot as the minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. 

Botox or Botulinum toxin type A is the most common among the minimally invasive procedures. As much as 7.4 million procedures are made in a year. And this figure continues to grow steadily by around 3% annually.

Botox is closely followed by fillers at 2.6 million, chemical peels at 1.3 million, and laser hair removal at 1 million.

The primary reason for the increase of non-invasive cosmetic procedures is the influence of social media. Celebrities and other social media influencers who constantly post perfect pictures are a massive magnet. They constantly tantalize the already physically obsessed generation and it fuels everyone to undergo these procedures.

professional job woman

Experts also agree that stiff job competition is another reason why even people in their 20s undergo these procedures without a thought. Other reasons include insecurity and the centuries-old crusade to remain youthful as long as possible. In fact, 7 out of 10 non-invasive procedures are for preventative measures.

This was observed particularly among those in the age group of 30 to 39 years. As many as 2.9 million cosmetic procedures, including invasive and non-invasive, was performed on those in this age category.

Cellulite treatment was very popular at 53%, and so was laser treatment for leg veins at 30%. Laser hair removal was also a popular choice at 29% and microdermabrasion at 23%.

top noninvasive cosmetic procedures botox fillers

Individuals in the age group of 40 to 54 undergo the most procedures.

This was quite a surprise to us. The people in this age group constituted the baby boomers that have re-entered the world of dating. There are as many as 20 million people from the baby boomer generation who use online tools to find a potential partner.

baby boomer

In our study, we found out that up to 49% of all cosmetic procedures were performed on those who are in this age group. A total of 7.8 million baby boomers undergo some kind of cosmetic procedure in a year. Those who are 55 years and above are also very competitive, with up to 4.2 million people resorting to cosmetic procedures.

Unlike other age groups whose main goal is to alter a feature and keep aging at bay, the 40 and above age group aim to keep looking youthful and maintain what they have. Ease of access is also another reason why they undergo cosmetic procedures quite frequently.

plastic surgery among age groups

Teens and tweens are undergoing less cosmetic procedures.

In the course of our study, we were also surprised to find that those who are in their teens and late 20s are undergoing less cosmetic procedures. As of 2018, the percentage of people in this age group undergoing plastic surgery had fallen by almost 2%.

social media

The reason we say it surprised us is that the previous years had witnessed masses of teenagers and those in their 20s rampantly undergoing cosmetic procedures. Procedures that were common among these age groups include male breast reduction (gynecomastia), nose reshaping, and laser skin removal.

Of course, this is not to say that the procedures have stopped completely. In fact, up to a million cosmetic procedures were performed on those in this age group. Of these procedures, breast augmentation took the lead with 8,636 cases, while breast reduction in men came a close second with 6,330 procedures. A total of 6,391 ear surgery, as well as 4,164 cases of liposuction, were also performed.

However, the overall figure was significantly lesser than those in previous years. The reason behind this is that more and more surgeons are being responsible for their clients. According to the president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Phillip Langsdon, doctors are becoming selective with their client’s requirements, especially in the young clients under the age of thirty.

They ask mandatory questions such as what the client’s expectations are, what their needs are, and, most importantly, whether the procedure can benefit the client or not.

Caucasians undergo the most cosmetic procedures. 

When we talk about ethnicities, Caucasians take the highest with up to 12.4 million people undergoing cosmetic procedures in 2018. Among the procedures, blepharoplasty or eye-lid reshaping took the top spot at 81%, while liposuction took second place with 77%. Breast augmentation and rhinoplasty came in a close third with 74% each.

The Hispanic ethnicity preferred abdominoplasty at 13% and breast augmentation and rhinoplasty at 11%, respectively. Abdominoplasty is also a favorite among African-American with more than 12% of the cosmetic procedures

In the non-invasive category, chemical peels, fillers, and Botox are common among the Caucasians with 82%, 80%, and 78%, respectively. Botox is also common among the Hispanic groups with more than 10% of the cosmetic procedures.

caucasians get plastic surgery the most in america

Body enhancement is the most popular trend.

During our analysis, we also found that body enhancement procedures are the most popular. Among the body shaping procedures, liposuction or fat removal witnessed an increase of 5% right after breast augmentation at 4%.

According to top plastic surgeons, liposuction is the most preferred method for body shaping, as it is very effective. In 2018, 258,558 liposuction procedures were performed in the United States alone.

Other types of body enhancement and shaping procedures include nose shaping, eyelid surgery, buttock augmentations as well as thigh lifts. Among these, buttock augmentation also witnessed a significant increase of 10% than the previous years, while hair transplants also witnessed a 19% increase.

The image-conscious millennials are constantly bombarded with digitally altered images on social media. All over the internet, there are those who flaunt their sculpted bodies and make money off of it. During our study, 97% of the surgeons who were surveyed agreed that celebrities and social media influence the average person’s decision to undergo body enhancement and body shaping procedures.

body enhancement surgery growth

Up to $16.5 billion is invested annually in the plastic surgery industry. 

We had an idea that the business of looking good was thriving. However, we were astounded by the enormous amount of money that is poured into this industry.

In 2018, $16.5 billion was spent on different cosmetic procedures in the United States.

But according to a 2014 study, when the number of plastic surgery procedures per 1,000 people is taken into account, the US is only in the sixth place after Greece, Brazil, Italy, Colombia, and South Korea.

By the year 2026, the amount of money spent on plastic surgery procedures is expected to reach $46 billion. Since the age of digital perfection is not expected to abate in the coming years, the urge for physical perfection will inevitably continue as well.

Source: Statista.com

The number of men undergoing plastic surgery is on the rise. 

An interesting phenomenon called the “Daddy-Do-Over” by experts seems to have caught a lot of men in their 30s and 40s. They are regularly undergoing body shaping and enhancements procedures to improve their appearance and also improve their confidence. More than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2018 alone.

During our study, we found that the men are not excluded from the race to beat the clock and stay looking beautiful. The males constitute 8% of all the cosmetic procedures performed. One such example is the gynecomastia surgery.

Hair transplant was the most common procedure among men. It was up by 17% from previous years. Liposuction or removal of fat was also up by 5% among men, which was followed by nose shaping at 1% with more than 52,000 procedures.

In the non-invasive category, an increasing number of men seem to be undergoing laser hair removal. As many as 184, 668 cases of laser hair removal were performed. However, Botox was the number one procedure performed with more than half a million men who underwent Botox in 2018.

Men are spared the ravages of childbirth, unlike women. However, they also undergo body changes due to age and lifestyle. Undergoing cosmetic procedures allows them to retain their youthful bodies for many more years.

We also found out that men who work in the entertainment and fashion industry have more inclination towards undergoing a cosmetic procedure than those who are not.

However, if we were to compare the number of males vs. females undergoing plastic surgery, the females win by a mile with 92%.

plastic surgery growth among men

The Pacific or the Mountain region had the most cosmetic procedures in the United States. 

The Pacific and the Mountain region took more than 30% of the total cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. The most common procedure was breast augmentation, where 111,952 cases were completed. Up to 82,312 cases of liposuction were also performed. This was followed by 70,112 of eyelid surgery and 56,875 cases of nose reshaping.

They also constituted more than 29% of the cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures. More than 2 million Botox treatments were completed, and half a million underwent fillers. In total, more than 5.2 million procedures were performed in the region alone.

According to our data, the reasons could be attributed to cultural factors as well as the ease of access. We found out that breast augmentation and nose reshaping are often given out as gifts. A high concentration of health-oriented groups of people from the same ethnic group is also responsible for the steep rise in plastic surgery in this region.

plastic surgery regions usa

Tumor removal was the most common form of reconstructive surgery.

During our studies, we also uncovered that plastic surgery was not limited to cosmetic procedures. In fact, a large number of procedures were performed for reconstructive purposes. Among the many procedures, tumor removal accounted for the highest number of patients, especially among the Caucasians. As much as 75% of the tumor removal procedures done were among this ethnic group.

In fact, all the reconstructive forms of surgery were performed on people belonging to this ethnic group were the highest. Astonishingly, 72% of reconstructive procedures were performed on people who have some form of a disfigurement from dog bites.

More than 4.5 million Americans are reported to suffer from injuries related to dog bites. Out of these, up to 50 cases result in fatality and death.

According to a research published in the journalist’s resource.org, the number of people who have breeds of dogs that are prone to biting is on the rise. These include Rottweilers, Pitbulls, and German Shepherds.

The research shows that the majority of canines biting incidents are related to children in association with guarding resources. Up to 44% of dog bites involving children happened when they were guarding their food or toys. On the other hand, adults who were bitten by dogs are related to territorial behaviors from both the human and the canine.

It concludes that measures including keeping the children away from bigger dogs, responsible ownership, avoiding high-risk breeds, and neutering are the potentially effective measures to prevent and reduce dog bites.

Other forms of reconstructive surgical procedures included breast reconstruction, burns and cleft palate and lip repair.

Breast reconstruction was observed to be the highest among those who are in the age group of 40 to 54, which was quite a revelation. More than 50% of the total 101,657 breast reconstructions were performed on those in this age group.

This was followed by those who are 55 and above, with more than 35% of them undergoing the procedure. Those who are in this age group have the resources and the financial stability to undergo procedures at will. Another reason is that they are also very active in the dating scene.

reconstructive surgery statistics

Conclusion.

Our study revealed some intriguing figures and trends in the plastic surgery industry. The invasive nature of social media and the ready access to plastic perfection does not look like it will go away soon.

What did you find interesting in this study? Do you have a question or an experience you want to share?

Feel free to post them in the comments.

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Aaron Cummings

Author: Aaron Cummings

I'm Aaron Cummings, a content curator for PlasticSpot with a passion for plastic surgery and beauty. Studied at University of Toronto. Now a San Francisco, USA based writer and editor living the dream.

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