The numbers are in, and, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed in 2018 was up over 2017 – by about a quarter of a million procedures or 2 percent. While 2 percent may not seem like a lot, this increase in procedures represents a major upward trend since the year 2000, increasing a total of 163 percent since the start of the millennium.
Although those increased numbers may be a bit eye-opening, perhaps an even bigger surprise is the kind of procedures that are growing in popularity, and at what rates. While the usual top contenders like breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tuck procedures easily and unsurprisingly rounded out the top three spots in 2018, facial procedures like rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) held steady to their spots in the top five, too.
Dr. Randy Sanovich is a facial, cosmetic, and oral surgeon practicing in Dallas, Texas. He routinely performs facial cosmetic surgery procedures and is not surprised by the findings of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report.
“Facial cosmetic surgery is still a very popular option for a lot of patients, especially with the influence of filtering apps and social media,” he says.
According to Sanovich, many patients become enamored with their filtered image on sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facetune and bring those results to surgeons seeking similar results.
“Social media filters can actually be a very useful tool, because they show the surgeon exactly what the patient is looking for, without having to use someone else’s face,” says Sanovich.
That last part is key, according to experts like Sanovich.
“It used to be that patients would bring in a photo of someone else’s nose or cheekbones and say ‘give me her face,’ which is impossible,” he says. “These filters allow patients to see a different version of their own face. It gives the surgeon a better idea of what the patient wants, but it also gives the patient more realistic expectations of their outcome.”
Another area of facial cosmetic surgery that saw growth in 2018 was the cosmetic fillers market. Cosmetic filler procedures far outnumbered surgical procedures at a staggering 15.9 million to 1.8 million. In fact, fillers like Botox, Juvaderm, and others have increased in total procedures by over 40 percent since the year 2014, a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
“Botox and fillers allow people to make minor or dramatic changes to their appearance without having to go under the knife,” says Sanovich. “That can be appealing from a cost standpoint as well as from the level of intervention some people are willing to try.”