Plastic surgery attracts women and men from all walks of life looking to enhance their physical appearance. While the reasons for selecting plastic surgery vary greatly from one individual to the next, there are clear trends appearing in the demographics of plastic surgery patients. Each year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) releases an extensive report, tracking the ethnicities, ages, genders and other characteristics of plastic surgery patients.*
According to the ASPS, 12.1 million plastic surgeries were performed in the U.S. during 2008. Nine percent of these surgeries were performed on men, and 91 percent performed on women. 47 percent of plastic surgery patients were between the ages of 40 and 54.
Interestingly, the number of Caucasian patients has steadily declined as patients of other ethnicities have been rising. In 2002, 84 percent of patients were Caucasian; by 2008 this number had diminished to 73 percent. Meanwhile, Hispanic patients have risen from six to ten percent, and African-Americans six percent to eight, over the same seven-year period.
Nearly half of plastic surgery patients elected multiple procedures. Since 2002, the number of individuals returning for another surgery after their first procedure has steadily grown from 37 to 44 percent of patients in 2008. A similar increase has been exhibited among those electing multiple procedures at once. In 2002, the percentage was 32, but by 2008, 45 percent of individuals electing plastic surgery had more than one procedure performed at the same visit.
The most popular plastic surgeries in the U.S. in 2008 were, in order from most to least popular: breast augmentation, nose reshaping, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and tummy tuck. Since 1992, the number of breast augmentation procedures has increased 803 percent, more than any other cosmetic surgical procedure. Unsurprisingly, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ region 5, which includes Pacific states like California, accounted for the greatest percentage (30%) of all plastic surgeries performed in the U.S. during 2008, including the highest percentage (36%) of breast augmentations. Region 1 (New England and Middle Atlantic states) accounted for most (30%) nose reshaping procedures.
While there may be many reasons for the increase in breast augmentation surgeries, or the decrease in Caucasian patients, those who are curious to learn more will be best informed by speaking with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Some surgical procedures have been revolutionized by technological advances, while others have been replaced by minimally-invasive procedures. Before considering any cosmetic surgery, it is important to gain knowledge about all available options.
*All data presented in this article has been drawn from ASPS reports.