What are the most popular plastic surgery procedures?

The top 5 plastic surgery procedures of the year have been released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Every year, the ASPS compiles statistics on how many plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures were performed throughout the preceding year. There’s a lot that these statistics can teach us about the coming year in plastic surgery.

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Every year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons compiles statistics, tracking how many times each procedure is performed across the United States. The top 5 plastic surgery procedures of the year are usually revealed this way–and the top 5 plastic surgery procedures of 2018 have just been released by the ASPS.

The Top 5 Plastic Surgery Procedures of the Year, by Popularity

There are definitely some surprises in these numbers, but there are also some old standbys. What these top procedures show, generally speaking, is that procedures which focus on the body seem to be gaining in popularity.

And the procedures that focus on the face seem to be waning. There are several reasons that might explain this shift in procedure focus on the part of the public. And we’ll get into that. For now, it might be beneficial to count down the top five plastic surgery procedures of the year and see what they can tell us about trends and tendencies within the world of aesthetic plastic surgery.

The Top Cosmetic Surgical Procedures of the Year

It’s worth noting that the ASPS breaks down the procedures they track into surgical and non surgical categories. This makes sense, as most statisticians want to make as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as they can. This means that we can take a good look at the top five plastic surgery procedures of the year separate from non invasive procedure (which we’ll probably look at in a different post later).

The top five procedures are:

  • Breast Augmentation: In the top spot this year is breast augmentation, with 313,000 procedures performed over the course of 2018. This was by far the most popular surgical procedure tracked by the ASPS.
  • Liposuction: This body contouring procedure was second on the list, with 258,000 liposuction procedures performed throughout 2018.
  • Rhinoplasty: The ASPS tracked 213,000 nose reshaping procedures performed in 2018.
  • Blepharoplasty: Eyelid lift surgery rounds out the facial procedures in the top five, with 206,000 performed in 2018.
  • Tummy Tuck: There were 130,000 tummy tuck procedures performed in 2018, which is enough to help this procedure crack the top five.

When looking at the top five procedures, you can definitely see a tendency towards body-focused procedures, though that’s not to say that facial plastic surgery procedures are going anywhere anytime soon.

What Can This Top Five Tell Us?

The next trick is figuring out what this all means. When we look at the top five plastic surgery procedures of the year, we can make a couple of general assessments about the field of plastic surgery more broadly speaking. First and foremost, it appears that body procedures are beginning to dominate the top ten procedures.

That may, in part, be because of non surgical alternatives on the market today. Botox and dermal filler injections, for example, are more popular than ever. And while they can’t replicate the results of a facelift, they can keep some wrinkles and lines at bay.

For some patients, that may be enough. And if that’s enough, they can take the resources they were going to devote to a facelift and put it towards something else instead–a tummy tuck or liposuction, for example.

Improving Recovery Techniques

The other reason these procedures are so popular, I think, involves some improvements in recovery techniques. Recovery is easier today–for today’s procedures–than at any point in history. For many procedures, such as breast augmentation, you can be back to normal activities in record time. That certainly increases the appeal of these top five plastic surgery procedures–especially in the age of non surgical options.

Giving Patients Options

The top 5 plastic surgery procedures of the year are pretty widely varied; some for the body, a couple for the face. What I think this comes down to at the end of the day is that patients want options. And thanks to the plastic surgery procedures available on the market today, those options are pretty plentiful.

Which means that it’s pretty difficult to predict precisely what the most popular procedures of 2019 will look like. That won’t stop us from trying. And the top 5 plastic surgery procedures of the year–for 2018–will be our guide.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over five years. He’s constantly talking to surgeons to make sure he has the most accurate and up to date information possible.

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