Cosmetic surgery - Statistics & Facts

Cosmetic surgery, also known as aesthetic surgery, is an elective operation that involves improving a person’s appearance. Such operations include liposuction, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, and rhytidectomy, also known as a face lift. The most popular surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide in 2016 was breast liposuction, followed by breast augmentation and eyelid surgery. The most popular nonsurgical procedures included botulinum toxin, or botox, hyaluronic acid, hair removal, and photo rejuvenation.

In 2016, the United States was the country with the highest number of cosmetic procedures worldwide, with over four million such operations. The number of both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. has grown over the last decade, from around 1.6 million procedures in 1997 to almost 13.7 million in 2016. Those aged 35 to 50 years are the most likely to have surgical or nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, accounting for 39 percent of all procedures in 2016. Geographically, around 35.6 percent of all cosmetic procedures occur in either the Middle Atlantic region, including Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, or in the Pacific region, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

The leading surgical cosmetic procedures for women in the U.S. in 2016 were liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck, whereas the leading procedures for men were liposuction, gynecomastia, and eyelid surgery. The cost of such procedures can be substantial, with total expenditure in the U.S. exceeding 8.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. The average cost for liposuction that year was 3,347 U.S. dollars, while the average cost for a facelift was 7,503 dollars.

Although cosmetic surgery, much like any surgery, can be physically damaging, patients of popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S. report being generally satisfied with their results. In 2017, an estimated 97 percent of tummy tuck patients and breast augmentation patients stated they would do the surgery again. Concerning nonsurgical procedures, 95 percent of those that had botox would do it again, as well as 92 percent who had laser hair removal.

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