Worldwide Cosmetic Surgery Trends to Watch for in 2018!

  • Posted on: Jan 23 2018
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Some say that the only way to know where we are going is to look back at where we came from. This can be quite true for those of us who work in the field of plastic surgery. Notwithstanding the occasional unexpected surgical breakthrough or out-of-nowhere trend, the best way for us to figure out which directions we can expect plastic surgery to head toward in the upcoming year is to look at the most recent data available, in the 2016 ISAPS Global Statistics Survey, released in June of this year. By paying close attention to some of these numbers, we can likely project the popularity of certain procedures in the future.

Every year, the ISAPS Global Statistics Survey provides invaluable data to plastic surgeons around the world. Having sent Surveys to over 35,000 plastic surgeons in 106 countries, we have accumulated the most accurate and detailed information about plastic surgery trends and popularity possible. Here are the trends that we can expect to continue into 2018, and several developments that we find extremely interesting, even surprising!



For years now, we have known that, on the whole, men are becoming far more comfortable with plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures. The stigma of plastic surgery has slowly, but surely, been worn down, and you can expect that to continue into 2018 and beyond. In 2016, 13.8% of all surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures were performed on men. The most popular procedures for men in 2016? At 650,550, Botox took the non-surgical procedure cake in 2016 (as it did in 2015 as well). The top five most popular surgical procedures for men worldwide were blepharoplasty (286,418), gynecomastia (236,371), rhinoplasty (217,152), liposuction (213,992) and hair transplantation (116,487). Since these were also the top five of 2015, we can expect their continued popularity in the coming year.

From 2015 to 2016, men’s Botox procedures increased by 4%, and the top five surgical procedures (combined) increased by 7%. Now that more men than ever are feeling comfortable with plastic surgery, these numbers will rise even more as they start to age. Advertising your plastic surgery services to men as well as women could pay dividends throughout the next year and into the rest of the decade.


If 2016 was any indication, labiaplasty will continue to be among the fastest growing cosmetic surgical procedures in the world. From 95,010 procedures performed worldwide in 2015, labiaplasty jumped 45%, to 138,033 procedures in 2016. Of those, one of the most notable increases was seen in Brazil, which performed 23,155 labiaplasty procedures in 2016 (an increase of 80% from 2015). However, the biggest jump was in Italy. Although a relatively smaller number of labiaplasties (4,879) were performed there in 2016, this was an amazing 160% increase from 2015! The United States saw an increase of just over 20%, with 13,266 labiaplasties performed in 2016.

Alongside the rise in labiaplasty popularity, there was also an increase in the popularity of vaginal tightening procedures (about 10% from 2015 to 2016), and we can expect that number to rise again next year.


Upper and Lower Body Lifts

Two current plastic surgery staples that certainly deserve attention in this list are upper and lower body lifts. However, while the component procedures to remove fat and excess skin (such as abdominal liposuction, buttock lift, etc. in the lower body; arm lifts, breast lifts, etc. in the upper body) have been popular for years now, it is only recently that plastic surgeons have begun packaging these together to be understood as “procedures” on their own. In 2015, the Global Statistics Survey began gathering data on Upper Body Lifts and Lower Body Lifts as such.

The numbers show a remarkable trend. The 72,253 lower body lifts performed worldwide in 2016 were almost 29% more than the 56,169 performed in 2015. Upper body lifts also increased impressively: from 22,634 in 2015 to 28,595 in 2016. Without doubt, it will be interesting to look at the numbers that will be gathered for 2017, but it seems more than probable that upper and lower body lifts will continue to show an extraordinary growth in popularity.


Breast Augmentation

Representing about 16% of all surgical procedures in 2016, it’s no surprise that breast augmentation remains as popular as ever. That said, the popularity of the type of breast augmentation is changing somewhat. It may be surprising to many to learn that there has been a slight reduction (-4.5%) worldwide in the number procedures using saline implants, and an increase (10%) in those using silicone, already by far the most popular breast augmentation type. This shift may continue into the coming year, but the really interesting trend is the increase in the popularity of fat transfer breast augmentation, which saw a growth of 22% from 2015 to 2016.


Rhinoplasty has been a reliably popular surgery for years, but we’ve recently begun to see a new trend emerging (one of those that just comes out of nowhere!) The recent news of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle has sparked an explosion of popularity in patients who want to have their nose modeled on hers, and Ms. Markle’s nose is now one of the most coveted in the world! We can expect this popularity to continue as we get closer to another Royal Wedding, especially among patients age 19–34, which represent 65% of all rhinoplasties.

Of course, we never really know what the future will bring. But, analyzing the data gathered in the ISAPS Global Statistics Surveys allows us to identify trends in popularity, both increasing and decreasing, and make educated determinations about the directions certain procedures are likely to take in the future. Thank you to all the surgeons who responded to the 2016 Survey!

2017 is now drawing to a close, and the next Survey will be headed your way soon. The more information we can gather, the more robust our data will become. If you have found the Survey to be helpful to you and your practice, we urge you to consider adding your data to it next year!

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