Butts Are Big Business for Plastic Surgeons


Buttocks enhancement surgery is becoming more popular. There was a 16 percent increase in buttocks plastic surgery procedures conducted in 2013 versus the year before. Clearly, butts are becoming big business for plastic surgeons.

Well-rounded rears on celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian have become the rage rather than the tiny, well-toned backside that was favored before. As a result, more people are seeking procedures to enhance their ass-ets. Cosmetic surgeons in the U.S. performed approximately 10,000 buttock augmentations in 2013, up from the 8,500 done the year before, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Most go for “buttock augmentation with fat grafting,” commonly called the Brazilian Butt Lift, a procedure that takes fat from the person’s stomach area, thighs or hips and re-injects it into the buttocks. The technique offers results in two areas with the patient losing fat in one area to boost the rear. Surgeons began getting requests for the procedures within the past years and now they are becoming more commonplace. Thirty percent of cosmetic surgeons now do butt augmentations, compared with only 19 percent in 2012, the ASPS reports.

Getting implants is the other buttock technique that is starting to gain popularity now. Nearly 1,000 were done last year. In the procedure, solid or semi-solid silicone gel implants are inserted beneath the gluteus maximus muscle in each cheek to create volume and add lift. Like breast implants, they need to be placed evenly for symmetry and can possibly get displaced and take a few months to get used to.

The demand for plastic surgery has remained strong according to the ASPS in spite of the economy and the fact the most plastic surgery is not covered by insurance. Butts are no way near as popular to augment as breasts, but business is booming overall for plastic surgeons. More than 15 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013. That is a 3 percent increase in the number of cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive procedures done over the prior year, and a whopping 104 percent over totals in 2000.

ASPS President Dr. Robert Murphy noted increases in cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive procedures results for advancement in technology. The new devices and products offer more options and choices to consumers wanting a little nip and tuck.

Botulinum toxins (such as Botox) are still tops in demand for non-surgical procedures. The ASPS reports that 6.3 million injections were done in 2013. There were also 2.2 million soft-tissue filler procedures conducted last year.

Breast augmentations and nose jobs (rhinoplasty) are still the most common surgical procedures, however the number of rhinoplasty operations has dropped noticeably from nearly 400,000 in 2000 to 221,000 last year.

Aging Baby Boomers are a big market now for rejuvenation plastic surgery procedures. Consequently, the numbers of facelifts, forehead lifts, fillers, eyelid surgery, peels and other similar options are rising. For example, more than 55,000 neck lift procedures were performed in 2013.

Doctors report that another area seeing an upswing is people who have lost significant amounts of weight through gastric bypass surgery and other means. They often need excess loose skin removed or opt for tummy tucks.

The rear end, however, is the trendy area seeing the largest increase (no pun intended). More women – and men – are going to plastic surgeons to enhance their butts and it is becoming big business.

By Dyanne Weiss

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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