New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveal what procedures were the most popular in the United States in 2018. The report shows that, once again, the demand for cosmetic procedures increased – between 2017 and 2018, the number of procedures performed rose from 17.1 million to 17.7 million.
This data reported for 2018 show that the demand for body-shaping procedures also increased, including non-invasive fat-reduction options.
Despite the increased interested in non-invasive fat-reduction treatments, liposuction still ranked in the top five body procedures last year. Not only did it rank, but the number of liposuction procedures also went up 5 percent.
Why Is Liposuction So Popular?
“Liposuction continues to be an in-demand procedure because it is very dynamic in the sense that it can be used in a number of body areas,” said Dr. Bill Johnson, a Dallas, Texas, cosmetic physician.
Liposuction, commonly called simply lipo, is a type of fat-removal procedure that suctions out unwanted fat from the body.
“Liposuction is not a weight-loss tool; it is a body-sculpting procedure ideal for those at or near their goal weight,” Johnson said.
After weight loss, some individuals retain areas of unwanted fat that will not budge despite exercise or diet.
“Retaining areas of fat can be a result of genetics, age, gender and changes in hormones,” Johnson said.
During the liposuction procedure, a tiny incision is made in the treatment area, and a very thin cannula is inserted. Unwanted fat is suctioned out of the body.
Some forms of liposuction “melt” fat away using laser or radiofrequency energy first, making the process of fat removal both easier and faster.
What Else Can Lipo Do?
Liposuction also induces the body’s natural collagen production response, which pulls the skin in the treatment area tighter, leaving patients with a shapelier final result.
“Liposuction is often a choice of individuals who want to tone and tighten certain body areas that are difficult to tone and tighten,” said Johnson.
These body areas include the upper arms, the midsection and abdomen, the back, and the face.
“Other body areas, like the outer thighs, can also be hard to work out and get fat to budge, too,” Johnson said.
The ASPS report also showed surges in other cosmetic procedures, including buttock augmentations, also known as the Brazilian Butt-Lift, and buttock implant augmentation surgery.
“Many patients are choosing to have fat removed through liposuction, but then they are using this fat to help fill out other body areas, such as the buttocks or the breasts,” Johnson said.
Using fat cosmetically in the buttocks is a procedure known as the Brazilian Butt-Lift.
“The BBL procedure is also in high demand as more and more women – and men – are seeking procedures to help achieve the body shape they want,” Johnson said.
Fat transfers to the buttocks and breasts are also gaining in popularity because using fat taken directly from the person being treated reduces the risk of complications and rejection associated with implant procedures.
Fat-transfer procedures are also faster than conventional implant procedures, and recovery times are shorter and more manageable, too.
“Since fat-transfer procedures require only small incisions and can be performed under local anesthesia versus general anesthesia, the recovery period is much faster,” Johnson said.
Less Is More
Less invasive is more popular, that is.
According to the ASPS report, minimally invasive procedures have also increased in popularity. Botox treatments alone increased by 3 percent from 2017 to 2018.
“Botox and other brands of botulinum toxin type A injectables are so popular because they work quickly and have little to no downtime at all,” Johnson said.
The statistics from the ASPS also showed that soft tissue dermal fillers also increased in demand since 2017.
“Dermal fillers are a great way to help fill out lines and creases and improve skin quality,” Johnson said.
Other top procedures in 2017 included chemical peels, up 1 percent over last year, and microdermabrasion, a skin-resurfacing treatment designed to reduce acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and other superficial signs of aging.
ASPS. New Plastic Surgery Statistics Reveal Trends Toward Body Enhancement. 11 March 2019.