The Top 5 Cosmetic Surgery Trends Loved by Millennials

  • Posted on: Oct 1 2017
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Oftentimes, when you own your own clinic, you may feel like you wear a lot of hats – after all, now you’re a business owner as well as a doctor.

There are many, many benefits to being a member of ISAPS, but these really all boil down to one thing: what we can do to help you improve yourself and your practice. Helping our members with their marketing is one of the ways we do that, and if there is a generation that everyone is trying to figure out, it’s Millennials. This is the generation defined by Forbes as “roughly those born from 1980 to 2000” – and who (in the US alone) wield $1.3 trillion in spending power.

You only have to search “Millennials” or open just about any popular magazine, and odds are you will see articles about how Millennials are changing *insert topic here* or how their buying behavior can’t be predicted. Well, rather than offering just another opinion piece about Millennials and their interest in cosmetic surgery, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Our colleagues at ASAPS recently released their 2016 statistics, including information about the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures for Millennials, ranked by the number of procedures performed in the US. We’ve combined that information with our own ISAPS Global Statistics of 2016 to reveal some interesting insights into the surgeries that many Millennials want, and why. Most importantly, we then look at how you can best market to this sometimes confounding generation.

Counting down the most popular cosmetic surgeries for millennials

#5: Breast Lift

When most patients think breast surgery, they think augmentation. But for many Millennials, especially those in their 30s, it isn’t the size of their breasts that is the issue; they’re often beginning to experience sagging or loss of perkiness of their breasts.

For those Millennials, a breast lift is the procedure of choice, with 35,336 cases (nearly 22% of the procedural total) performed in the US in 2016.

#4: Tummy Tuck

As more and more Millennial women have children of their own, the tummy tuck is becoming one of their favorite procedures. Additionally, for this generation that has been constantly bombarded by images of perfect bodies in media since they were children, the option of a tummy tuck can be very attractive.

Tummy tucks come in just slightly ahead of breast lifts, with 35,598 procedures performed on Millennials (about 20% of all tummy tucks) in the US in 2016.

#3: Nose Surgery

A popular surgical procedure for decades, Millennials have also wholeheartedly embraced it. Their fondness for social media means that they regularly see their own images from different angles. Also, plastic surgery itself is much more socially acceptable among this generation.

Coming in third, 71,007 rhinoplasties (nose surgeries) were performed on Millennials in the US in 2016, an incredible 48% of all rhinoplasties. Worldwide, that percentage is even greater – Millennials accounted for 65.3% (513,500) of all rhinoplasties.

#2: Liposuction

This remains a perennial favorite surgery, for every generation, and Millennials are no exception. In fact, it may be more desirable for them than for their forebears. According to a study by York University in Toronto, it may in fact be more difficult for those in the Millennial generation to lose weight than it was for previous generations, stating that “weight management is actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out’,” and that “ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever.”

Millennials accounted for about 22% (108,443) of all liposuction procedures in 2016 in the US, and worldwide for about 45% (659,671).

#1: Breast Augmentation

For ISAPS plastic surgeons, the number one cosmetic surgery procedure beloved by Millennials probably isn’t a big surprise. In 2016, 47.5% of all breast augmentation procedures (147,570) in the US were performed for Millennials. Worldwide, 659,671 Millennials had breast augmentations, or 45.4% of the procedural total.

Breast augmentation has always been one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, in every generation. But the rise of new options like “Gummy Bear” implants and fat transfer appeal especially to Millennials, who are extremely mindful of natural-looking and -feeling results.

Other interesting results found in the ISAPS Global Statistics of 2016 might give us a sneak peek at the next generation after Millennials. 13.4% of breast augmentation procedures performed worldwide in 2016 were on women 17 years or younger. This number varies depending on the country (In Brazil, it’s 34.7%, in the US, it’s only 6.2%). Although the primary reason (37.4%) these procedures were performed was purely cosmetic, it wasn’t the only motive. Other reasons include severe asymmetry (17.6%), tubular breast (18.3%), and congenital absence breast (i.e. Poland’s syndrome) (11%).

Millennials, despite much demonization, are really not much different in their desires than other generations. Procedures such as rhinoplasty, liposuction and breast augmentation are as popular as ever, and will likely continue to be in the future.

However, marketing to this media-savvy generation can be somewhat tricky. They’re often hyper-aware of “being sold to” – so it’s very important to keep to the “soft sell” in your approach, both in your marketing and in your personal interactions.

Knowledge is extremely important to them, and though they get much of their information online, they are also more likely than any other generation to use a public library – and you don’t want to discount the effectiveness of print media in catching and keeping their attention.

They also rely heavily on word-of-mouth, and on the stories behind the brands. A “story-selling” website, highlighting not only your personal story, but also patient stories (with names changed, of course), can be one of your best assets in marketing to this chatty generation.

Above all, humor is paramount. The Millennial penchant for the ironic and offbeat is unrivaled. And though their generation is perceived as one of the most cynical, what they want most is to smile, so think “outside the box” with your marketing. Consult some of your younger staff, their friends, your own children. See what makes them laugh, and use that.

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.”

– Charlie Munger (Vice Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway)

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