Did you catch yourself staring in the mirror a little too long during quarantine last year, wondering what you'd look like with a little nip here or tuck there? The pandemic drove many Americans to get the cosmetic surgeries they'd been wanting, and the interest has only increased.
More than 15 million Americans went under the knife for plastic or minimally invasive cosmetic surgery in 2020. That number that has steadily increased in 2021, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suspects it will only grow in the new year.
Let's get specific: What are the most popular procedures people are having done?
"The most popular surgery in the U.S. in 2020 was the rhinoplasty, or nose job," says Dr. Scott Engel, a plastic surgeon at Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center. His office has been overflowing with customers who are now being put on a three-month waiting list.
While the nose job might be popular around the country, it's not Engel's most common procedure. "Our most popular treatment in the last two years has been the breast augmentation, and something we call the mommy makeover," he says.
The "mommy makeover" mostly attracts women in their 30s and 40s who have recently had children. The procedure, which takes place in one session, consists of a breast lift, tummy tuck and vaginal rejuvenation or liposuction. The procedure takes about three to six weeks to heal, and costs anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000, which is not covered by insurance unless some portions are deemed medically necessary.
Engel believes the craze is due to Sarasota's rapid growth. He says young families are flocking to the area, and with that trend come moms looking to feel good about their postpartum figures.
Patients as young as 18, however, have been entering Engel's operating room, with requests for what they're calling "preventative care." This could mean Botox injections before wrinkles appear, or a nose job or liposuction to match the photo filters they put on their Instagram photos. Social media has been a driving force in the reason young people are changing their appearance, according to Engel.
Engel says plastic surgery took off during the pandemic because of the patient's ability to heal in privacy. Thanks to remote work, canceled plans and mask wearing, patients could recover without having to encounter others.
The types of procedures Engel offers have changed as Sarasota's demographics have, says Engel. "Facelifts used to be our most popular procedure, in women and men over the age of 40, because that was our target demographic in Sarasota," says Engel.
To avoid uneven scars, lumpy liposuction jobs, poor silicone implant placement and more, Engel recommends researching plastic surgeons and their qualifications before making an appointment. "Ask lots of questions during your consultation," says Engel. "This is so important. Many people don't question where they're receiving care from."
Even celebrities can fall victim to poor treatments. Linda Evangelista, a former Canadian supermodel, received several treatments of the minimally invasive CoolSculpting on her face, and ended up "unrecognizable," she says. She is suing the procedure's creator, Zeltiq Aesthetics, for $50 million.
CoolSculpting is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment that uses cold temperatures to shrink fat deposits in parts of the body. In rare cases, like Evangelista's, a disorder called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia can occur. This happens when the fat cells grow instead of shrink.
"We offer CoolSculpting here in our office, and have a highly certified and qualified practitioner on staff to complete the treatments and have seen amazing results, but it's not our most popular treatment," says Engel. He says the fault likely lies with the practitioner, not the procedure.
So will CoolSculpting, although controversial, remain trendy in 2022? Engel thinks so. Here are other procedures the American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts will be popular:
Many gained weight during quarantine and then lost weight in 2021. Excess skin can be removed with this procedure.
This has been a top five procedure in the U.S. since 2006, and doesn't look like it's going anywhere.
Buttock Enhancement (Or Brazilian Butt Lift)
Very popular among Instagram and social media stars, this treatment is becoming more mainstream. If you've lost weight but still want a perky backside, this one's right for you.
Facelift and Necklift
Sagging skin along the jawline and neck can be stretched and tucked to create a youthful appearance.
Botox and Fillers
Women are now holding "Botox parties" where they gather and receive treatment from a licensed aesthetician in the comfort of their homes. This won't be going away any time soon.