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A Decade in Review: Plastic Surgery Trends 2010-2020

woman with sparklers on New Year's

It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of yet another decade. It feels like that literally just flew by. And in some ways it really did. But despite the fact that it feels like we went through the last ten years in fast forward, it didn’t stop us from making a whole lot of progress, especially when it comes to the plastic surgery trends that we’ve seen develop.

We were lucky to have our very own (and very busy!) Dr. Austin sit down with us and give us his take on what’s changed and what hasn’t in plastic surgery in the last decade.

What are the most popular plastic surgery trends we’ve seen develop over the past 10 years?

I think that the biggest thing that we’ve seen develop in the past decade is an immense growth of non-traditional procedures, such as buttock augmentation, especially the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), which harvests fat from other parts of the body and adds it to the buttock in order to give the body a more hourglass shape. Before ten years the BBL just wasn’t a thing.

We’ve also seen a high percentage of growth in procedures such as labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation.

Why do you think these particular procedures have seen the highest percentage of growth?

I think that procedures like labiaplasty or vaginal rejuvenation were things that weren’t talked about before. It took innovators to try and bring them to the forefront and advocate for women’s procedures. Today women themselves are a lot more vocal about the changes that occur to their bodies as a result of pregnancy or simply as a result of aging.

As for a procedure such as buttock augmentation, I think that what people find beautiful or attractive, body image in general, has changed a lot in the last decade. I think looking healthy and shapely is more of a draw now than it used to be. People were really afraid to have fat anywhere on their bodies before. Whereas now, fat in the right places can actually look really great!

What were some of the more popular trends that we saw in early 2010?

I think we can safely say that the top traditional procedures such as breast augmentation, and other surgeries involving the breasts, such as the breast lift, as well as procedures like the tummy tuck, liposuction, and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) were definitely popular in the early 2010s and still remain the most popular procedures today.

The most popular procedures that we currently perform at The Plastic Surgery Clinic are still those same traditional procedures, but what has changed over the past decade when it comes to the more traditional surgeries is the way that they are performed.

The biggest changes that we’ve seen are in technique and innovations, so things like the no-drain tummy tuck for instance, EVL (Expansion, Vibration, Lipofilling) for the BBL, and SAFE lipo. Because of a lot of these innovative techniques we’ve also seen a rise in the number of combination procedures that we do, such as the Mommy Makeover, which allow us to do more surgery, more efficiently, with a shorter timeframe for recovery and the amount of downtime that you need.

We’ve heard that non-surgical procedures are on the rise over the past decade as well—injectables especially—in a way that contours the face. Why do you think that is?

I think that social media has played a large part in how plastic surgery trends have developed over the last 10 years, both surgical and non. There is a lot more visual media out there. Instagram especially has played a large part in how people want to look to others and portray themselves. The face really matters to people now. So when Kylie Jenner displays her full lips, naturally there will be a fan base that follows.

But I also think that we are seeing a shift where people are becoming more proactive about their health and their appearance. A lot of injectable treatments are preventative, so what we’re seeing now is a lot of young people with good skincare regimens, fewer smokers, and a higher awareness about the damage that the sun can do to your skin for instance.

So do you think plastic surgery is more socially acceptable as we near the end of the decade?

Absolutely. I think here social media has also played a big role. I think it has enabled how people understand plastic surgery procedures. I see a lot more parents coming into the clinic with their kids for example, so I think there is a lot more understanding and acceptance in how cosmetic procedures are viewed. I think that people are no longer afraid or embarrassed about admitting that they’ve had a procedure whether it was surgical or not.

We still have a long way to go when it comes to acceptance and accessibility, but I think we’ve made a lot of progress. Plastic surgery is definitely still a want not a need, it is still considered a luxury (even though in some cases maybe it shouldn’t be), but I think that people are more willing to invest in themselves.

There is more value put on mental health and wellness these days. Personal well-being is important. People see that when they invest in themselves, in their health, in feeling good about the way they look, they actually lead much happier lives.

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