Cosmetic surgery is also known as plastic surgery, and many people consider it to change their appearance. It includes redesigning the shape of the body, eliminating baldness, or smoothing wrinkles. It can mean breast augmentation or treating varicose veins. There are a number of procedures that men and women seek out, as you’ll see in the cosmetic surgery statistics and trends below. For some folks, the procedure can help them feel more confident and comfortable.
The most popular procedures for women
The most popular cosmetic procedure for women in the US is lipoplasty, also known as liposuction. Nearly 200,000 women underwent this procedure in 2020 (the date of the latest available statistics). This procedure involves removing excess fat to slim and reshape certain parts of the body.
It could include the thighs, the buttocks, hips, waist, abdomen, back, or upper arms. Or, perhaps the chest area, chin, or neck.
Cosmetic surgery patients advise against seeing lipoplasty as a solution for weight loss. When it comes to lipo, Dr. Shain Cuber reports that many patients ask to look more like Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez.
When it comes to women in the US, breast augmentation is currently the second most popular cosmetic procedure. Nearly 186,000 women underwent this procedure in 2020.
Commonly known as the “boob job,” breast augmentation uses either a fat transfer or breast implants to make the breasts fuller and rounder or more symmetrical. That can help restore volume after weight loss, pregnancy, or even after a mastectomy or injury.
Women with drooping breasts or excess skin may also ask for a breast lift. Many women ask for a breast reduction if they feel their breasts are too heavy or large. This can lead to spine and back problems if not addressed. According to Dr. Cuber, most women want a natural look, and many will ask to look like Kate Hudson.
Rounding up the five most popular surgical cosmetic procedures for women in the US, around 117,000 women got abdominoplasty, commonly known as the tummy tuck. Around 86,000 women had their breast implants either removed or replaced. Around 80,000 women had mastopexy, commonly known as breast lift.
Stats: The most popular cosmetic surgeries for men
The most common cosmetic surgery for men in the US is currently rhinoplasty or nose reshaping. Around 65,000 men had this procedure in 2020.
“Nose jobs” can reshape the nose for cosmetic purposes, or can correct a deviated septum. There is also a rise in nonsurgical procedures on the nose. Fillers can be used to straighten out the profile of the nose or modify the tip.
The second most common procedure for men in the US is blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery. Around 46,000 men had this done in 2020. The surgery can be for the lower lids, the upper lids, or both. Some people seek it out if they have problems with the functioning of their eyelids or for cosmetic purposes.
Rounding up the most popular procedures for men, around 29,000 men had cheek implants in 2020. Around 23,000 men had liposuction. Around 22,000 men had ear surgery.
US cities with the most plastic surgeons
Miami, Florida has the most plastic surgeons in relation to population size. Miami has 3.9 plastic surgeons per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, Salt Lake City, Utah has 3.12 plastic surgeons per 100,000 people. Interestingly, it also has the youngest marrying age in the US.
In LA, there are 2.98 plastic surgeons per 100,000 residents. California has three cities in the top ten, with San Jose in fourth and San Francisco in sixth. The fifth city on the list is Austin, Texas, with 2.78 plastic surgeons per 100,000 residents.
Looking nationwide, about 66% of all plastic surgery was performed on Caucasians. 13% was performed on Hispanic people. 11% of plastic surgery was performed on African-Americans, and 8% was performed on Asian-Americans.
Female plastic surgeons
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are approximately five male plastic surgeons for every female. Plastic surgeons must complete four years of medical school, an additional five-year residency in surgery, and two years of plastic surgery residency. The next educational stage is a one-year fellowship.
Women face several unique challenges, including determining how to balance school, work, and family. They also face any existing gender bias in the profession. For some women, it is a boys club that is hostile to them.
Cosmetic surgery is generally safe when performed by properly trained surgeons in an accredited facility. The mortality rate for outpatient surgery is 0.25-0-50 per 100,000 procedures.
Ensuring that cosmetic surgery is safe is essential for its continued practice. Procedures are becoming more and more established, and training has become more rigorous.
The mortality rate for liposuction is 1.3 per 50,000. The mortality rate for abdominoplasty is 1 per 10-13,000.
Takeaway on cosmetic surgery statistics and trends
Plastic surgery can be used after operations or accidents to help bring people back to their original appearance. It can also be used to modify one’s appearance to help with confidence or comfort.
A plastic surgeon must ensure that patients have the emotional and intellectual capacity to provide informed consent. It is also important to understand that cosmetic procedures won’t change any mental health issues long-term, so these conditions need treatment through therapy or another tool.