Here's How Plastic Surgery Trends Are Influenced by Where You Live
It's no secret that cultural forces shape plastic surgery trends. Look no further than the ways in which selfies have totally changed the plastic surgery landscape in the past year. But the cultural factors shaping plastic surgery trends aren't just national; they get even more local, according to a new report.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently released its annual report on plastic surgery trends for the past year. In addition to breaking down things like which surgeries are dominating the field across the country, which injectables are most popular, and rises in plastic surgery among men, it also took a look at how your zip code might impact the type of procedure you're most likely to get.
"This is a really labor-intensive snapshot of what's going on in the country," Alan Matarasso, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City and president-elect of the ASPS, tells Allure. To get a handle on regional trends, the ASPS looked at the most popular surgical and minimally invasive procedures, then zeroed in on how each one broke down by region.
There were some interesting differences. About 36 percent of all breast augmentations that happen nationally occur in the west, in states like California and Nevada. The Midwest meanwhile, is home to 32 percent of all butt-lifts. Almost half of all hair transplants happen in the South. The Southeast is home to over a quarter of all butt implants, calf augmentations, and pectoral implants. And finally, data shows that a third of all male breast reductions are performed in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic, in states like New York and New Jersey.
Trends are a fascinating snapshot into how cultural forces shape plastic surgery on a more local level.
This doesn't mean that male breast reductions are the most popular procedure in the Northeast. "What the statistics mean is that of all male breast reductions performed in the United States, the Northeast accounted for 33 percent of those procedures, which is the highest of any region in the United States," Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure.
Instead, the trends are a fascinating look into how cultural forces shape plastic surgery on a more local level. Take climate, for example. "In the West, because the weather is better and people are a little more exposed, a lot of women are more aware of what their breasts look like in public," Debra Johnson, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the immediate past president of the ASPS, tells Allure. "Western women tend to steer themselves more towards procedures like breast implants, lifts, and reductions to keep themselves feeling comfortable."
Local pop culture also likely plays a big role, Johnson says. "I think the Kardashians play a role in southern California."
Western women tend to steer themselves more towards procedures like breast implants, lifts, and reductions to keep themselves feeling comfortable.
Other values, such as the industries that dominate a certain region, are also likely big influences. "You can look at cities where you may have a higher percentage of a mobile, white-collar workforce where looking younger may be more valued versus in the farm belt where people may be more likely to stay at the same job longer and appearance isn't as important," Matarasso explains. Beyond just the types of procedures, cultural factors in different regions often shape the desired final outcomes, Matarasso adds. "Even with breast implants, the size of the implant varies regionally," he explains.
There is one thing that should remain consistent no matter where you get plastic surgery, says Johnson. "One of the things that concerns us at the ASPS is that there is very little regulation over outpatient surgery — only about 14 states do any regulation of outpatient surgery," she reveals.
That can be concerning as med-spas and doctors who aren't board-certified in plastic surgery can pose greater risks. "We really stress that patients need to do their homework and make sure that that doctor is well-trained," Johnson says. For any surgical procedure especially, make sure to see a board-certified plastic surgeon and check out our reoccurring plastic surgery column, Life in Plastic.
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