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Survey: Demand for Facial Plastic Surgery Surged In 2021


The results from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery annual survey showed an uptick in demand for facial plastic surgery, an increase in popularity for lifts and lasers, and a growing gender neutrality in patients.

The annual survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) was recently released showing that despite pandemic concerns, the demand for facial plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures increased in 2021.

According to AAFPRS members, the total number of surgical and nonsurgical facial plastic surgery treatments increased 40%. An estimated 1.4 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures had been done in the past year, with plastic surgeons performing an average of 600 more procedures than they did in 2020, the release continued. Bookings for procedures also increased, with 83% of surgeons responding that they had more patients wanting to be seen, which is up from 70% in 2020.

When asked why there may be an increase in booking, 92% of responders indicated it is because patients have more time and flexibility to recover from treatments because they are working from home or having a hybrid schedule. Also, another explanation is extra money from stayinginside more often. Overall, 83% of AAFPRS members said that in 2021, 75% or more of their work was facial plastic surgery, in 2020 only 75% claimed so.

“After lockdowns ended and vaccinations rolled out, our patients who had been postponing reconstructive work, upkeep, maintenance or surgery were eager to schedule treatments to help them feel refreshed, confident, and ready to take on work, events, playdates—all of those things that were previously paused,” said AAFPRS president Corey S. Maas, MD, San Francisco, California. “Plus, with more time still being spent at home, there was less concern about the recovery time for surgical treatments.”

The “Zoom Effect,” which is described as people over-analyzing their reflections while using the video conferencing platform, has been a factor with 89% of responders suggesting so. Moreover, 79% of survey takers reported that patients are seeking procedures for improved appearance on video conferencing compared to only 16% in 2020.

The desire to look better in selfies continues to trend, with 77% of members reporting this as a driving factor for patients, which is up 35% overall since the AAFPRS first identified this trend in 2016 as ‘selfie awareness’. Patients, possibly due to mask wearing the press release suggests, are also asking for eyelid procedures to look less tired, as noted by 73% of surgeons (up 17% from 2020).

Another procedure gaining popularity is lip lifts, which is a new category for the 2021 survey.Theywere performed by 70% of responders in 2021. This is explained by filler fatigue, according to the release, and the want for a more natural-looking face. Additionally, the desirefor facelifts, neck lifts, and brow lifts are also significantly up from previous years and the demand for laser treatments have increased more than 10% from 2020.

The most common surgical procedure among patients under age 34 years old is rhinoplasty, which remains consistent with previous years. Patients who are 56 and older are the lowest percentage of overall procedures in 2021 and while female patients reman the mostly likely for surgery, the tide is turning. The release states that blepharoplasty and neurotoxins are trending towards more balance between genders, with a lower percentage of surgeons indicating these procedures are performed on “mostly females.” As of now, hair transplantation is the only procedure that male patients surpassed female patients, with surgeons almost 5 times more likely to indicate male patients when filling out the survey in 2021 compared to 2020.

The top procedures performedon women in 2021 include:

  • Neurotoxins (63%)
  • Fillers (57%)
  • Rhinoplasty (62 %)

The top procedures performed on menin 2021 include:

  • Rhinoplasty (79%)
  • Neurotoxins (58%)
  • Blepharoplasty (42%)

This year’s survey found that patients top concern is finding the right doctor that they can trust(36%), followed by worries about an unnatural look(30%).

“For most procedures, effective communication between surgeon and patient is the number 1 key to a successful outcome,” Maas said.“This includes a mutually agreed-upon, reasonable expectation for improvement and what is realistically possible for individual patients and their goals.”


1. AAFPRS announces annual survey results: demand for FPS skyrockets in 2021. American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Published February 10, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://www.aafprs.org/

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