2013 was a great year for the plastic surgery industry, with global demand for cosmetic procedures once again increasing by about 10%. Demand is not showing any sign of slowing down in the New Year, but 2013 saw significant shifts in consumer trends and demographics, as well as changes in industry practices, that are likely to continue.
Nonsurgical Procedures Outshine Invasive Operations
For many years, breast augmentation and liposuction were the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures, but demand for both operations is steadily declining. Instead, patients are opting for less invasive ways to achieve their perfect look. Botox injections top the list, as the most popular cosmetic treatment, followed by soft tissue fillers, laser hair removal, and chemical peels. Microdermabrasion saw the largest rise in demand last year, increasing by more than 8%.
The trend toward less invasive, more affordable procedures is having a significant impact on competition within the plastic surgery industry. Medical spas combine a spa-type of experience and atmosphere with minor medical services like microdermabrasion and skin rejuvenation treatments to provide consumers with an alternative to traditional plastic surgeon offices. It is becoming increasingly common for cosmetic surgeons to work alongside med spa clinics to offer clients a complete body makeover solution.
Younger Consumers Enter the Market
A change in consumer demographics may also be fueling the popularity of minimally invasive procedures. The number of plastic surgery patients between the ages of 19 and 25 were significantly higher in 2013 than previous years. Preventive care seems to be the goal of younger consumers. Minor procedures like laser hair removal and chemical peels are favorites among this age group. This group also played a role in boosting the demand for microdermabrasion.
Eyelids and Arms get More Attention
Minimally invasive treatments are performed more than 10 times as often as surgical procedures; however, the demand for certain types of cosmetic surgery is nonetheless on the rise. Since 2009, the number of people undergoing eyelid surgery has steadily increased in Korea. In 2013, it was the most common cosmetic surgery performed in Korea, and the American demand for eyelid surgery grew by 4%. Upper arm lifts are also becoming more popular, particularly in the US, increasing by nearly 4,500% since 2000.
Procedures for Men are More Common
Female consumers continue to dominate the plastic surgery industry, but more and more men are enjoying the benefits of cosmetic procedures. Men accounted for more than 10% of the surgeries performed last year, undergoing about 1 million procedures collectively. Liposuction is the most popular plastic surgery technique among male patients, but guys are also seeking nose jobs, eyelid surgery, and ear shaping procedures, as well as breast reduction surgery.
The plastic surgery industry continues to thrive after more than a decade of steady growth. As long as the industry can keep up with the ever-changing demands of a widening group of consumers, the future of cosmetic surgery promises to be just as successful.