Our Cosmetic Surgery Desires Are Shifting

Breast augmentations are no longer No. 1
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2023 3:24 PM CST
When It Comes to Cosmetic Surgery, Liposuction Is King
Stock photo of a liposuction procedure.   (Getty Images/Elena Safonova)

When it comes to our bodies, those going under the knife are apparently seeking less, not more these days. The most popular cosmetic surgery on the planet is no longer breast augmentation: Liposuction has taken the top slot. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says in a press release that the fat-removal procedure made up 14.8% of cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide in 2021, with 1.9 million such procedures taking place. Breast augmentation accounted for about 13% of procedures, reports CNN. The rest of the top five, in order: eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and abdominoplasty (aka tummy tucks).

As for what surgical procedure saw the quickest growth, that would be the thigh lift, whose numbers shot up 53.1%. The breast augmentation count has creeped up just 0.5% in the last four years, while surgery to remove implants has ballooned 49.6% in the same period.

In total, there was a 19.3% overall increase in procedures performed by plastic surgeons in 2021, with more than 12.8 million surgical and 17.5 million nonsurgical (think Botox, laser hair removal) procedures performed worldwide. That increase more than makes up for the pandemic-related declines of 2020, during which all procedures were down 1.8%, with surgical procedures specifically down a larger 10.9%. (More plastic surgery stories.)

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