Statistics can be fascinating. Someone can take the same set of numbers and use them to support opposite conclusions. Such is the case with this year’s plastic surgery statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS). Liposuction, one of the most popular treatments at my New Jersey practice, presents an interesting case: It’s tough to tell whether the number of procedures is going up or down nationally.
On the surface, the ASPS statisticsshow that the number of patients getting liposuction increased by 5% from 2013 to 2014. But when you drill down a bit more and look at the trend over several years, the statistics indicate that liposuction procedures have actually decreased by 41% since 2000.
A decrease in liposuction procedures
Liposuction remains one of the top aesthetic surgical procedures performed each year without a doubt. That’s been true for years and likely will remain that way in the future thanks to the universal appeal of fat reduction. But there are some reasons that help explain the long-term decline, as well as evidence supporting the recent uptick in liposuction procedures.
An overall downward trend coincides with the rising popularity of non-surgical fat reduction procedures, such as CoolSculpting®. I offer both liposuction and CoolSculpting at my practice, and I’ve recommended the fat-freezing treatment to patients who in the past probably would’ve undergone liposuction to get rid of love handles or muffin tops. Statistics from another industry organization, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, show non-surgical fat reduction procedures increasing by 42% from 2013 to 2014.
An increase in fat grafting
On the other hand, the increasing use of fat grafting — which requires liposuction — for Brazilian butt lifts, breast augmentation, and as a facial filler is probably one of the reasons more liposuction procedures were performed in 2014 than in the previous year. Butt augmentation using the fat transfer technique, although still a relatively infrequent procedure, increased by 15% in 2014, according to the ASPS statistics.
Body contouring using either liposuction or non-surgical fat reduction techniques will remain popular and effective methods for reducing stubborn areas of fat that won’t disappear through exercising and dieting alone. The best procedure for each person is best determined during a personal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.