The face has been an object of attention for as long as humanity has been around: It graces ancient pottery, fills museums of antiquities, and now is presented virtually on countless smartphones and social media platforms each day. In addition to driving technology’s ability to capture and preserve someone’s looks for posterity, the world’s collective fascination with the face has also given rise to a growing desire to adjust individual features, an endeavor possible now like never before via facial plastic surgery. Bay Area facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs has studied the long and fascinating history of facial aesthetics, which is why he noted with interest the recently released statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
According to the published numbers, plastic surgeons in the United States performed about 17.1 million total cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2016, an increase of three percent over the year before.
While the most commonly performed surgery was breast augmentation, three other surgeries in the top five—rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, and facelift—are focused solely on the face, and the other—liposuction—is frequently used to shape specific regions of the face. Given that the numbers for each procedure were higher in 2016 than 2015, it’s safe to say that facial plastic surgery is on the rise.
Liposuction—a surgical fat-removal technique that can be used on the neck, cheeks, and elsewhere—is in the second slot, with 235,237 procedures reported. That’s an increase of six percent in one year.
The next three most commonly performed procedures ranked as:
- Nose reshaping, up two percent to 223,018
- Eyelid surgery, up two percent to 209,020
- Facelift surgery, up four percent to 131,106
Breast augmentation was the most commonly chosen cosmetic surgery procedure among women. Not surprisingly, this didn’t register at all on the list of male-chosen surgeries. For men, facial plastic surgery ruled the year, with nose reshaping and eyelid surgery taking the top two spots. Liposuction and facelift were at places four and five, respectively, with male breast reduction sitting at No. 3.
As facial plastic surgery is proving increasingly popular, so, too, are minimally invasive procedures that focus on temporarily rejuvenating and refreshing the skin. The uncontested top procedure overall—dominating over all other options, nonsurgical and surgical alike—is an injectable form of botulinum toxin type A. The 7,056,255 injection sessions in 2016 are up four percent from 2015’s 6,757,198.
There are several brand names available in this category (Dysport® and Xeomin® among them), but the most prominent is BOTOX®. Injections reduce muscle contractions. If properly applied with precision by a trained and experienced injector, BOTOX® can slow activity in the specific muscles that cause noticeable frown lines on the forehead, as well as crinkly crow’s feet.
Second to botulinum toxins, but still far surpassing surgical choices are soft-tissue fillers, tallying 2.6 million applications in 2016. This is followed by chemical peels with 1.3 million
Often, patients can combine the effects of facial plastic surgery and nonsurgical options to get a benefit unattainable from a single procedure or treatment. Dr. Jacobs, for instance, combines a surgical facelift with a the carefully controlled application of chemical peels to address both the skin and its underlying architecture in what he’s called a SynergyLift™.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons compiles its statistics annually by sending out a survey to member surgeons, combing a dedicated database, and extrapolating the resulting aggregated information. The results are considered by many to be the most comprehensive statistics exploring cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery in the United States each year.
Dr. Stanley Jacobs is a triple board certified doctor specializing in facial plastic surgery. Bay Area residents may recognize him from his segments on KRON4, as well as his frequent appearances at events in the greater community. For more information, call his office in Healdsburg at (707) 473-0220 or in San Francisco at (415) 433-0303. He also has an online contact form.