2016 Was A Very Good Time To Be A Plastic Surgeon In America

Photographed by Megan Madden.
May 2016 always be remembered as the year that Americans elected a reality TV star to the highest office and spent more money on plastic surgery than ever before. Per the annual report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Americans spent $16 billion on cosmetic surgery and minimally-invasive procedures last year, a significant increase over the $13 billion spent in 2015. That’s a whole lot of butt augmentations. (18,489, to be exact.)
As for the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures nationwide, breast augmentation took the cake, with over 290,000 surgeries performed, followed by liposuction, nose reshaping, tummy tucks, and, again, butt augmentations. Of the minimally-invasive procedures, wrinkle treatment injections like Botox were given over 7 million times, followed by hyaluronic acid fillers, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments.
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One particularly interesting statistic to note is that, according to the full report conducted by the ASPS, lip reductions went up 283% over last year, from 927 to 3,547 — which suggests that perhaps more than a few of us are starting to regret those Kylie-inspired injections. Labiaplasty has also surged in popularity, with a 39% increase over last year. (As Carrie Bradshaw might say, “As I sat there, looking out the window, I wondered: Are we more insecure about our vaginas than ever?”)
If $16 billion sounds like a lot of money for a nation of people to spend on tweaking their individual appearances to their liking, well, that’s because it is. Or that’s what we thought, anyway, before we learned that Americans spent over $8 billion on Halloween-related purchases in 2016. Now that should be a slap in the face for anyone who considers cosmetic surgery a frivolous expense.