The art and science of plastic surgery are evolving every day, and last year was particularly big for innovation. We saw rises in nipple plastic surgery, non-surgical nose jobs, and injectables for your butt. But according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) annual report on plastic surgery trends, the most popular procedures in 2017 are surprisingly old school.
The ASPS reports there were 17.5 million surgical and minimally invasive procedures (such as injectables) performed in the U.S. last year, which is up two percent from its 2016 count. Botulinum toxin type A injections — better known by their brand names Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin — took the top spot for minimally invasive treatments. According to the report, 7.23 million botulinum toxin type A procedures were performed, which is also two percent more than in 2016.
Botox is (still) on the rise
Its enduring popularity is partly due to the variety of procedures it can be used for. “I use Botox mainly for wrinkles across the forehead, the ’11’ lines and the crow’s feet,” Melissa Doft, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. “I also use it for hyperhidrosis, which is excess sweating.”
However, the old-school injectable might owe the new wave of love in larger part to decreasing taboos around injectables. “We are seeing more patients trying Botox for the first time, including more male patients and patients at both ends of the age spectrum,” says Doft. “The increase in popularity has encouraged discussion around the topic and therefore has decreased taboo.”
It may come as a surprise that Botox injections were significantly more popular than other injectable fillers last year, which accounted for just under 2.69 million procedures last year, according to the ASPS. “As more people realize how effective Botox is and as more people also become more open to the idea of these treatments, I think its use will continue to increase throughout 2018,” Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. “I do not think that Botox will ever be eclipsed by other injectables.”
This rise in injectables, including Botox and other fillers, contributed to a decline in surgical face-lifts, says Maman. “As more people undergo injectable procedures, more people are putting off getting surgical procedures like traditional face-lifts for longer periods of time,” he explains. “People are also willing to spend the same amount of money on injectables over time that would compare to a surgery cost and are doing this to avoid having to get invasive procedures done.”
Breast augmentation is gaining popularity, too
The ASPS also shared some surprising findings on surgical plastic surgery procedures: Breast implants took the number one spot in 2017 — up 3 percent from 2016. While the procedure might seem like old news, Doft says implant innovation and advances in surgical techniques have contributed to the rise. “Most patients love the look of breast implants but have been afraid of them feeling foreign,” she says. “As the implants feel more and more like breast tissue, this concern is decreasing.”
On the flipside, though they didn’t make the top-five list of procedures, breast reductions also increased in popularity, jumping 11 percent in 2017 after declining slightly the year prior. “Breast reductions are consistently reported as one of the highest patient satisfaction procedures because it positively affects a woman’s quality of life. It addresses both functional and aesthetic concerns,” ASPS president Jeffrey E. Janis, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, explained in a statement.
Do your research before deciding on any procedure
The report findings make one thing clear: As people become more confident talking about plastic surgery, procedures are getting more common. But for any of the procedures on the list, experts stress the importance of always seeing a board-certified physician — that can be especially important for procedures like Botox, which might seem like no biggie.
“While Botox is easy to administer correctly, someone untrained can just as easily give a bad outcome,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Allure. In other words, avoid deals or online specials, and “get your bathing suit on sale, not your Botox.”
For more plastic surgery trends:
Now, watch as a dermatologist explains lip injections: