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Are Facelifts Becoming More Popular?

In Canada, there are no official statistics on the number of people getting plastic surgery in any given year

All trends are approximated from U.S. statistics. As reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 28% more people got facelift surgeries in 2015 than in 1997. 131,106 facelift surgeries were performed in the United States in 2016, a 4% increase as compared to the 125,711 performed in 2015. 97,110 of the 131,106 facelift procedures performed were full facelift surgeries (74%), while 33,996 of the 131,106 procedures were mini facelifts (26%). The proportion of full facelifts performed did not differ significantly from 2015 to 2016. However, the number of mini facelifts performed increased by 17% in that same time frame. In both 2016 and 2015, facelifts ranked as the 5th most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the U.S. Breast augmentation ranked first, followed by liposuction, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, and facelifts.

Facelift addresses fine lines and deep wrinkles

Why?

While it is clear that the number of facelift procedures has increased significantly in the past few years, the exact reasoning remains unclear. There are several plausible causes for the rise in popularity of the facelift, including the following:

1. An increase in the popularity and availability of non-invasive treatments
Non-invasive treatments such as lasers, Botox, and facial fillers come at a lower cost and a lower risk than surgical procedures, and they bring many people into the plastic surgeon’s office. For many patients, trying different procedures and becoming more comfortable with the idea of plastic surgery may make having a facelift seem more within reach. A 2016 study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal reported that many individuals who had undergone facelifts had previously participated in non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments: 32% of those surveyed had injectable treatments (Botox and/or filler) prior to their facelift, 16% had laser resurfacing treatments, and 10% had laser skin-tightening treatments. Of these people, 59% of them did not regret having these procedures performed prior to their facelift, though they reported that they saw a greater rejuvenation effect from the facelift surgery.

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Tighten and restructure the contour of the face

2. An overall increase in the number of cosmetic procedures performed

In 2016, the plastic surgery industry revenue rose to a record 15 billion U.S. dollars. Overall, the number of surgical cosmetic procedures performed in 2016 increased by 4% as compared to 2015.

3. An increase in the media coverage of cosmetic procedures

Social media websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat have helped fuel the discussion about cosmetic procedures. One study examining the frequency of plastic surgery-related posts on Instagram found that plastic surgery-related hashtags were present in 1 million Instagram posts from a single day. Celebrities and internet personalities frequently post content about the procedures they have undergone, their experiences with the procedures, and even photos and videos of them having procedures performed. Plastic surgeons themselves are more and more commonly sharing content on social media, sometimes even of them performing surgery! With more information available, more people are comfortable exploring these procedures and contemplating having them performed. Prospective patients can learn about procedures and determine whether they would be potential candidates without having to step into a surgeon’s office!

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4. A refinement of the facelift procedure and a higher quality of result

Techniques are improving, and skilled plastic surgeons such as Dr. Torgerson are able to create a natural-looking, youthful appearance. Traditionally, the facelift surgery focused on just pulling the skin back to create a tighter appearance. Now it is increasingly common for surgeons to lift the muscles of the face as well as the skin. The objective is no longer to make the skin appear as tight as possible, but to maintain a natural appearance.

5. An increased latency to retirement and higher competitiveness in the workplace

As posited by Reuters, the rise in facelift surgery may be due to baby boomers attempting to remain competitive in the workplace. As the mean age of retirement increases, many older individuals have become more cognizant of their appearance, undergoing procedures to avoid being viewed as old or elderly by their peers and coworkers. According to Leigh Fountain, spokeswoman for the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, individuals in that age group are "having a lot of work done to stay competitive in the workplace... it’s very ageist, but it's the unfortunate reality."

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