A look at modern cosmetic surgery studies and statistics
2016 saw another increase in the number of Americans having cosmetic surgery. Spending on surgeries topped $8 billion, fueled by more people seeking procedures like rhinoplasty, facelifts, body sculpting, and liposuction. Breast augmentation topped the list of procedures tracked by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) at 290,000 of the more than 1.7 million total cosmetic surgeries performed that year. Here in Florida, our state contributed almost 20% of all cosmetic surgeries nationwide.
Why the statistics are climbing
Any stigma that was once attached to cosmetic surgery is fading away. Where people once viewed a procedure as something to have done and deny, cosmetic surgery has evolved into something patients openly choose to improve their self-confidence and outlook. In addition, the satisfaction rates for cosmetic procedures have been and remain extremely high. For example:
- A 2013 study that “followed one doctor’s breast augmentation patients over 5 years … found that of the 225 patients interviewed, 91.1% reported increased self-esteem after their surgery, and 64.3% reported improved quality of life.” In addition, “Ninety-eight percent of women undergoing breast augmentation surgery say the results met or exceeded their expectations.”
- A study of 125 women who underwent breast reduction surgery found that “at six months, nearly 90 percent of women rated their cosmetic outcomes as ‘good’ or ‘very good.’
- A study of 121 patients who underwent facial cosmetic surgery “found that change in self-esteem following surgery was associated with how employees subsequently felt about their jobs. Indeed, most patients experienced an increase in self-esteem. Increase in self-esteem was associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of burnout.”
- The results of a very long-term study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that “one year after face-lift surgery, 87 patients (97.8 percent) described the improvement of their facial appearance as very good or beyond expectations. After an average follow-up of 12.6 years, 61 patients (68.5 percent) rated their current degree of improvement as very good or beyond expectations, and 61 patients (68.5 percent) felt 10 or more years had been added to their youthful appearance.”
- Another long term-study “on the psychological effects of plastic surgery on approximately 550 patients” found that “compared to those who had chosen not to have plastic surgery, the patients felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem and found the operated body feature in particular, but also their body as a whole, more attractive.”
Technology and cosmetic surgery
An ASPS spokesman attributes the increase in procedures to both societal factors and improvements in technology. The rate at which procedures are completed as well as the skill with which they’re performed have both improved over the years. For example, developments such as micro-surgery and tissue engineering have enabled reductions in scarring.
Advances in silicone, plastics, and even 3D-printing have greatly improved the ease and success rate of tissue grafts. Skin alone isn’t the only area reaping the benefits; cartilage and bone grafting operations are evolving with similar speed. In addition, modern preoperative planning allows for more personalized plastic surgery solutions.
Surgical advances, an increase in public awareness and confidence, and satisfaction about the results of cosmetic surgery have all contributed to the increase in procedures. And as patient satisfaction rates stay high and procedures continue to improve, all signs point to an industry that will continue to grow.
If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure and would like to know more, our patient education page is a great place to start. For a detailed consultation, set up an appointment with Dr. Thomassen. He will counsel you on every aspect of the procedure – before, during and after – to make your decision a confident and ultimately satisfying one.
At Thomassen Plastic Surgery, we’re proud to meet the highest standards in 30 procedures covering the face, breasts, body and skin. To schedule a consultation, you can call us at 954.771.0200 or complete our online contact form.