The 2014 plastic-surgery statistics will be released later today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Thanks to an advance peek, I can report that butts are getting bigger, while breasts are getting smaller.
Buttock augmentations are up 86 percent over 2013. Michael C. Edwards, a plastic surgeon and the president of the ASAPS notes that most women don’t want giant backsides, they just want more shapely ones. The other big news is breast revisions, which are up 30.4 percent. Many attribute that rise to aging implants in need of replacement, along with many women’s desire to switch from saline to silicone-gel-filled implants, which may not have been available when they originally had surgery. What’s more, insiders say most of these women are exchanging their old implants for smaller replacements.
The other news in the numbers is a five percent drop in overall procedures: 10,663,607 in 2014, down from 11,419,610 in 2013. The decrease was mostly in minimally-invasive procedures like Botox and fillers. No explanation for this was offered by the ASAPS, but could it be what I call injection fatigue? Many women I’ve spoken to don’t want to return again and again for refills. Surgical procedures fell only 1.5 percent from 1,883,048 to 1,764,956, a drop that the number crunchers say is not statistically significant.
Fat—and getting rid of it—is still a high priority. In recent years the top surgical procedures for women have flipped back and forth between breast implants and liposuction. In 2014, liposuction held the number one spot, followed by breast augmentation (down 8.5 percent), tummy tuck, blepharoplasty (or eye lift), and in fifth place, the breast lift. Facelifts are in eighth place.
Liposuction may still be king (or is it queen?) in the surgical department, but non-surgical fat reduction with devices such as CoolSculpting and VASERshape rose a whopping 42.7 percent, from 94,922 in 2013 to 135,448 in 2014. That number could rise even more this year if ATX-101, an injection for fat reduction under the chin, gets FDA clearance, which it’s expected to receive.
Last Saturday, Rachel Hollis, founder of a lifestyle website called The Chic Site, posted a photo of herself on Facebook wearing a bikini while vacationing in Mexico with her husband.
In the caption underneath the photo, the 32-year-old mother-of-three said she put up the image because she was proud of the body that giving birth had given her- scars, flabby skin, and all.
When it comes to social media, we’re huge advocates of using it to the best of your abilities. It opens up communication, allows us to share photos and ideas with our friends, and in general, gives everyone a voice. Today, however, we found out social media is doing another influential thing: contributing to the plastic surgery craze (it’s okay if you need to re-read that last sentence, we get it).
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, reports on their annual findings on surgery found that the world of social media is strongly linked to the increase in plastic surgery, mainly because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are making those who frequently use the sites more critical of themselves. Below are some of the statistics from the study that have us a little concerned:
- Because of social media photo sharing, 31% of surgeons have seen an increase in requests for plastic surgery because patients have a more critical eye on themselves.
- 73% of procedures (up from 62% the previous year) were cosmetic versus reconstructive in nature.
- Studies show that people are more drawn towards images in specific proportions, like facial features, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
So what does this all mean? When people look at pictures of themselves on social media, they’re looking at much more than just themselves. They’re also comparing themselves to the people that they follow, whether they be friends, models, celebrities, etc. and users are being much more critical of themselves because of the comparisons they’re making. This, in turn, is contributing to a rise in plastic surgery requests. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure that one or two bad Instagram photos aren’t worth thousands of dollars in surgery to look like someone else.
Liposuction is the leading option to diminish the appearance of stubborn bumps and lumps from localized fat and help sculpt areas to appear more toned and trim. Tumescent liposuction using local anesthesia as developed and performed by dermatologic surgeons is extremely safe. However, as with any invasive procedure, liposuction has risks. Some simple steps can help prevent potential complications before and after a liposuction procedure. Researching the procedure and doctor, having realistic expectations, using local anesthesia and following post-operative directions are just a few guidelines that will help to ensure the patient receives the best results.
ASDS offers some additional tips to ensure a positive result:
- Do your research: There is a lot to consider when undergoing liposuction. Choosing a dermatologic surgeon at a reputable location is very important and could help to decrease complications.
- Do maintain a healthy weight before surgery: Liposuction is a procedure for shaping the body by removing localized fat in areas such as the abdomen, thighs, arms or neck. For best results, candidates should be close to normal-weight with firm, elastic skin. This is not a weight loss procedure.
- Do understand your options: There are several options to liposuction surgery. Tumescent liposuction, the safest procedure, uses local anesthesia, injecting the fat with a large amount of anesthetic liquid causing it to become firm, making the removal of fat easy and painless while leaving patients less bruised. Ultrasonic and laser-assisted liposuction technique liquefies fat upon removal, decreasing recovery time. These are sometimes useful adjuncts. It’s important that you speak with your doctor to choose the right procedure for you.
- Do follow post-operative directions carefully: Doctors make suggestions after surgery to further avoid complications. Moderate physical activity, such as walking, the day after surgery may reduce the risk of clotting. Also, in some cases, compression garments should be worn around the treated area to reduce swelling.
- Don’t expect to look “skinny” the day after surgery: You will always look better immediately after a procedure but will not realize the final result for several months.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions: Before a consultation with a dermatologic surgeon a patient should be prepared with a list of questions for their doctor. Questions should help the patient understand the liposuction process, what to expect after the procedure and learn more about the doctor’s training and experience.
- Don’t continue over-the-counter supplements: Products such as aspirin, vitamin E and some herbal products slow blood clotting. Additionally, some anti-inflammatory medications can increase the chances of bleeding during surgery. Prior to surgery, the doctor will discuss any medications and supplements you are taking and which ones should be discontinued.
- Don’t assume all areas are treatable: Most, but not all, body parts are amenable to treatment. The most popular areas include the neck, chest, arms, waist, hips, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, knees and ankles. Your dermatologic surgeon will tell you if you are a good candidate for the surgery.