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04-07-17 | Posted by

Forget hemlines as a predictor of a sluggish or strong economy, cosmetic surgery may be as reliable of an indicator. And if this theory holds, let the good times roll.

Americans spent more than $15 billion dollars on combined surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures in 2016, accounting for an 11% increase over the past year alone, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).


This is the single largest dollar amount spent on cosmetic surgery since ASAPS began its Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics survey in 1997, and a $1.5 billion dollar increase in expenditures from 2015 alone.

“It’s good to see the growth within our business,” says Orange County and Laguna Beach, Calif. Plastic surgeon Daniel C. Mills, MD, President of ASAPS. What’s driving this growth? “A healthy economy with the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, a desire on the part of baby-boomers and their offspring to remain competitive in a youth-centric workforce, younger generations recognizing the value in preventative anti-aging care, and of course, procedural and technological innovations that provide patients with more personalized options in both the surgical and nonsurgical categories,” Mills says in a news release.

Overall surgical procedures were up 3.5% in 2016, and nonsurgical procedures were up 7% in 2016, the new stats show.

The data also identified the top 5 surgical and nonsurgical procedures for men and women combined for the 2016 calendar year as follows:


  • Liposuction
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Breast Lift

Nonsurgical Procedures:

  • Botulinum Toxin
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hair removal
  • Photorejuvenation (IPL)
  • Chemical Peels

The fact that BOTOX and HA fillers top the list is not surprise, especially in light of the new launches in the facial injectables category from the two industry leaders – Allergan’s Juvederm and Galderma’s Restylane portfolios of products.

Mills shared some of other insights from the data with Beauty In The Bag.

“We are seeing more and more mommy makeovers and a lot more vaginal rejuvenation as part of this combination of procedures,” he says. Labiaplasty is up 23.2% since 2015, the stats show, for example, and laser treatments for vaginal tightening and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are also on the rise.

Each year liposuction and breast augmentation compete for the No. 1 spot, and lipo took it in 2016, but not so fast … there may be more to it, he says. “There may be more fat grafting breast augmentation which is categorized separately than breast augmentation with implants,” he says. Fat transfer to the breast is up 41.4% since 2015, the data show.

Less invasive technologies are also here to stay. “We used to do more aggressive treatments to skin like deep phenol chemical peels and dermabrasion, which were really good for deep wrinkling, but today we are seeing lighter, but more frequent treatments so we don’t see complications but we do get results.”

Skin resurfacing has certainly come a long way from deep to milder energy based devices that also work for acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, scars, pores, skin tone and texture, as well as skin tightening.

About the Stats

ASAPS, working with an independent research firm, compiled the 19-year national data for procedures performed 1997-2016. A paper-based questionnaire was mailed to 30,000 board-certified physicians. An online version of the questionnaire was also available. A total of 795 physicians returned questionnaires, of which 92 were retired or otherwise inactive during 2016. Final figures have been projected to reflect nationwide statistics.