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most popular plastic surgery procedures of 2016

Summary: Each year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons collects data on the most popular plastic surgery procedures. This means that we’re just getting information on what procedures topped the list for the current year. Surgeons use that information to predict what patients might want in the future. And that can make things better for everyone!

What Are the Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures of the Year?

Every year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons takes the time to collect statistics on the most popular procedures. The most popular plastic surgery procedures of 2016 have been somewhat surprising. In most years, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room in terms of what procedures are moving up.

But 2016 has thrown a few curve balls into the mix. To be sure, the ASPS collects information on almost all procedures performed. They come up with annual numbers for all of those procedures—so they’re collecting a lot of data. And they do this every year so that surgeons can better prepare for what’s trending, for what patients are likely to ask about.

That means it really is more than a popularity contest. Understanding the five most popular plastic surgery procedures of 2016 can help us understand what patients are really asking for—which means higher satisfaction all around.

Top Five Popular Procedures

Procedure #1: Breast Augmentation

Perhaps this won’t be terribly shocking to most people, but the most popular plastic surgery procedure in 2016 was the breast augmentation. According to the ASPS, 290,467 patients received a breast augmentation in 2016, representing a 4% increase over 2015. That’s significant for two reasons:

  • Breast augmentation had been trending down over the past few years—not by a lot. But it was not uncommon to see a 2% or 3% sag from year to year. Other breast procedures, such as breast lift, were increasing in popularity in the mean time. This is not to say that breast augmentations have ever been unpopular, rather an attempt to emphasize that this 4% growth is quite significant.
  • Breast implants are getting smaller. While breast augmentation is gaining in popularity, current trends seem to favor smaller implants. In some part, that just has to do with the way aesthetics have been changing over the past few years. But that emphasis on smaller implants is still an emphasis on getting results that are proportional to the body.

Procedure #2: Liposuction

That Americans are hyper-concerned about their weight (and the fat content of that weight) should not be shocking. For both health and aesthetic reasons, we tend to count calories in this country—or at least feel bad for not counting. Liposuction isn’t necessarily a weight loss tool. Rather, it’s a way to sculpt the body, to contour it to your liking, by eliminating stubborn areas of fat that don’t seem to fade with diet or exercise.

According to the survey by the ASPS, over 235,000 people elected to undergo liposuction last year. That’s a 6% increase over the previous year. This surge in popularity might be attributable to a couple of different things. First, liposuction has become much more subtle and controllable over the past couple of years, meaning results look more natural and sophisticated. Second, liposuction is a key component of many fat graft procedures (which are also surging in popularity).

Whatever the reason, liposuction is helping patients achieve a slimmer overall look without sacrificing their natural curves and contours.

Procedure #3: Rhinoplasty

Coming in as the third most popular plastic surgery procedure of 2016 is rhinoplasty. Also known as “nose reshaping” or, more colloquially, a “nose job,” rhinoplasty gives patients the ability to change the size or shape of the nose. That is the classic nose job, and it’s why rhinoplasty has been consistently at the top of the “popularity” heap.

After all, the nose is an important feature of the face. When your nose is too large or too small or too droopy, it can alter the way you see your entire face. The nose, essentially, ties everything together. So when the nose is out of what, the face can look “off” as well. As such, rhinoplasty is used to change a wide variety of features, including the following:

  • Bridge that is too wide or too narrow
  • Tip that droops too much
  • A tip that droops when smiling
  • The overall size of the nose (too big or too small)
  • The angle of the nose in relation to the face
  • Artifacts on the nose (bumps, for example)

There are limitations, of course. But being able to even subtly change the nose can alter the way that people see your face in a bit way, and that helps explain the popularity of this procedure over time.

Procedure #4: Blepharoplasty

According to the ASPS survey, the fourth most popular plastic surgery procedure of 2016 was, surprisingly, eyelid surgery. Now, blepharoplasty is a procedure in which excess eyelid tissue is removed from around the eyes. This can be really handy because, as you age, this tissue tends to collect around the eyes, causing wrinkles and interfering with your vision.

By removing excess tissue from around the eyelids, patients are able to achieve pretty bold results. It’s one of those small changes that make a big aesthetic difference. And, even better, blepharoplasty is often covered by health insurance—especially if your eyelids are interfering with your vision. You get the practical benefits and the aesthetic benefits.

Procedure #5: Facelift

Now, to some degree, this whole list has been surprising. But the popularity of facelift procedures in 2016 is certainly newsworthy all on its own. To a certain degree, the popularity of facelifts had been waning—until people started taking selfies.

Certainly, it’s only anecdotal evidence that, at this point, seems to credit selfies with the rising popularity of facelift procedures. But that seems to make sense. Social media, at any rate, ensures that people’s faces are everywhere. You can’t get away from faces. So it would be no surprise whatsoever that people might feel a certain pull to correct the appearance of aging.

Facelift procedures offer the following basic benefits:

  • Removal of Excess Skin: One of the biggest reasons you start to look a little more aged as the years go by is because your skin begins to expand (you can thank gravity). By removing that excess skin, surgeons are helping your face to look a little smoother (or a lot smoother, depending on the extent of the work). This is a key aspect of a facelift procedure.
  • Eliminating Lines and Wrinkles: When excess skin is removed, even for non-aesthetic reasons, the results tend to eliminate lines and wrinkles on a broad scale. In other words, one of the reasons facelift procedures are able to make you look so much younger is because that excess skin is removed in the first place. And when that excess skin is removed, the rest of the skin can be tightened around the face, smoothing out any lines and wrinkles that remain.

Facelift procedure have recently become quite adept at generating results that look natural and graceful. In years past, facelifts that were too aggressive could produce results that looked artificial or plastic-y. But modern facelift procedures are quite good—perhaps helping to explain their rise in popularity.

Many Procedures Offered

One other thing to note about the numbers the ASPS collected (and we’ll likely be digesting those numbers for quite a while) is just how many procedures are tracked and offered by surgeons. It seems that, today, there is just about a procedure for any given desire.

That’s not too far from the truth. The nice thing about modern plastic surgery is that you don’t have to pick from only the most popular plastic surgery procedures. You can select the procedure that’s right for you. And as long as that’s happening, we can expect more procedures to be offered. Which means the most popular plastic surgery procedures

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