After years of topping the plastic surgery charts, breast augmentation is no longer the most popular procedure in the U.S., according to 2013 statistics. The new winner: liposuction. At our practice near Syracuse, I’ve seen a surge reflective of the nationwide shift that was documented by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The respected industry group says there was a 16% increase in liposuction from 2012, with a total of 363,912 procedures performed last year. There are a few reasons behind liposuction’s growth:
- Advancing surgical techniques: As with many areas of surgery, the liposuction procedure continues to improve year after year. New techniques are constantly being developed that make the surgery and its recovery easier and more comfortable. Surgeons can use special liposuction enhancements to break up fat before removing it and to avoid causing damage to surrounding tissues. The cosmetic results also continue to improve, with surgeons able to create sleek, beautiful body contours for patients.
- More male patients: Among female patients in 2013, breast augmentation was still the top procedure. But among all patients, liposuction won out. This is due in part to more men than ever undergoing the surgery. Many surgeons attribute the rise in male plastic surgery to an ever-decreasing social stigma and an increasingly competitive job market. For liposuction in particular, which was by far the top surgery for men, it seems to be a popular choice because it helps them achieve a trim, desirable physique relatively easily. In the ASAPS statistics, men made up more than 14% of the total liposuction procedures but just 9% of all plastic surgery procedures.
- Rising demand for fat grafting: Fat transfer, or the process of moving fat from one area of the body to a more desirable area, is also fueling liposuction’s rise because it is the first step in the fat transfer process. Surgeons have recently made great strides in the ways fat can be used, enhancing the face, breasts, buttocks, and other areas. Fat transfer saw a 9% jump from 2012 to 2013.
Check out the ASAPS statistics to learn more about the rise of liposuction and other changes in plastic surgery. As with any procedure, if you’re considering liposuction, be sure to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon.