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This Type of Cosmetic Surgery Is on the Rise — & It's Not What You Think

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health & Sex Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist, adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham University and has written for publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling...

These were the most popular cosmetic procedures last year

Cosmetic procedures are still growing in popularity in the United States, but it may not be very obvious. Since 2000, the number of minimally invasive procedures has increased by 200 percent.

New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons noted that 2017 saw a 2 percent overall increase in the number of procedures over the previous year. According to their findings, the top five cosmetic surgical procedures (out of nearly 1.8 million) were:

  1. Breast augmentation (300,378 procedures, up 3 percent from 2016)
  2. Liposuction  (246,354 procedures, up 5 percent from 2016)
  3. Nose reshaping (218,924 procedures, down 2 percent from 2016)
  4. Eyelid surgery (209,571 procedures, approximately the same as 2016)
  5. Tummy tuck (129,753 procedures, up 2 percent from 2016)

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People were far more likely to opt for minimally invasive procedures in 2017, having 15.7 million performed over the course of the year. The top five were:

  1. Botulinum toxin (Botox) type A  (7.23 million procedures, up 2 percent from 2016)
  2. Soft tissue fillers  (2.69 million procedures, up 3 percent from 2016)
  3. Chemical peel  (1.37 million procedures, up 1 percent since 2016)
  4. Laser hair removal  (1.1 million procedures, down 2 percent from 2016)
  5. Microdermabrasion  (740,287 procedures, down 4 percent from 2016)

Minimally invasive procedures may appeal to some because they are less drastic than some traditional plastic surgery and work with your body's natural features. One of the fastest-growing categories within minimally invasive procedures are those that aim to eliminate fat and tighten the skin, with treatments for cellulite alone increasing by nearly 20 percent since 2016.

“Unwanted fat is something that affects so many Americans,” ASPS President Dr. Jeffrey E. Janis said in a statement. “Plastic surgeons are able to give patients more options than ever before for fat elimination or redistribution. Patients appreciate having options, especially if they can act as maintenance steps while they decide if getting something more extensive down the line will be right for them.”

Another popular procedure in 2017 was the breast reduction, which saw an 11 percent spike in 2017 over the previous year. This surgery involves removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to make a person's breasts more proportional with the rest of their body and reduce back pain associated with large breasts.

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“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,” said Janis.

It should go without saying that cosmetic procedures — whether surgical or minimally invasive — are not necessarily appealing to everyone, and you should talk with your doctor if you're interested in having one. And if it is something you're interested in, that's fine too. Basically, let's all try to be happy and healthy and not judge other people for their decisions or appearance — sound good?

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