Labiaplasty and buttock augmentation were in demand last year, according to topline results from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s (ASAPS) annual statistics.
According to the new data, labiaplasty procedures increased by 44% during 2013, and buttock augmentation procedures rose by 58%. What’s more, the number of surgeons who are performing labiaplasties increased from 21% to 29% in the past year alone, and the number of doctors who are performing buttock augmentations has also increased from 19% in 2012 to 30% in 2013.
In 2013, more than 10 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed by plastic surgeons in the United States. Overall, surgical procedures have increased by 6.5%, suggesting that people are once again investing in their appearance and have the income to do so. Other physician groups that cull such data also noted increases in the numbers of procedures in 2013 — although the percentages and the types of doctors included in the polls varied.
As to why labiaplasty and buttock augmentation are on the rise, many plastic surgeons credit pop culture’s influence as well as improved dissemination of information on the Internet.
“The increase in requests for labiaplasty and buttock augmentation will vary from practice to practice, but no doubt media influences and perhaps changes in grooming for women have played a role,” says Michael Edwards, MD, President-Elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “I also think women are becoming aware of labiaplasty and potential benefits, whether it be difficulty with exercise, clothing, or even injury during childbirth.”
Christine Hamori, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Duxbury, Mass, agrees. “The procedure is all over the web, and it has been on The Housewives of Beverly Hills, etc,” she says. “I think the Brazilian waxing plays a large role, especially in the younger patients. When the pubic hair covered the area, it was not subject to scrutiny like it is now,” she says. “The Internet acts as a forum for anonymous viewing of pictures and dialogues between patients interested in these procedures.”
This is likely just the beginning of the uptick, she predicts. “I do believe the numbers will increase and the procedure will become more mainstream.
Constantino G. Mendieta, MD, a plastic surgeon in Miami, says the increase in butt augmentation mirrors what he is seeing in his own practice, where fully 80% of his surgeries are geared toward enhancing the derriere. “This procedure is pancultural, and I have 30% African American, 30% Latins, 30% Caucasians, and 10% Asians. Approximately 10% of all the ones performed are men.
“I have been lecturing around the world, and this is not just a phenomenon in the United States. It is starting to gain momentum in other parts of the world, even conservative nations,” he says. “The concept of it not being about size, but shape is one that I have tried to teach, and once physicians and even patients understand that is about giving the right proportions, dimensions, rejuvenating, and recontouring the body and buttock, the numbers will continue to increase exponentially,” he says.
ASAPS is slated to release its full 2013 statistics in March 2014.