Plastic Surgery Statistics in the US: Evidence and Implications

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2016 Apr;40(2):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s00266-016-0611-3. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


Background: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons publishes yearly procedural statistics, collected through questionnaires and online via tracking operations and outcomes for plastic surgeons (TOPS). The statistics, disaggregated by U.S. region, leave two important factors unaccounted for: (1) the underlying base population and (2) the number of surgeons performing the procedures. The presented analysis puts the regional distribution of surgeries into perspective and contributes to fulfilling the TOPS legislation objectives.

Methods: ASPS statistics from 2005 to 2013 were analyzed by geographic region in the U.S. Using population estimates from the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, procedures were calculated per 100,000 population. Then, based on the ASPS member roster, the rate of surgeries per surgeon by region was calculated and the interaction of these two variables was related to each other.

Results: In 2013, 1668,420 esthetic surgeries were performed in the U.S., resulting in the following ASPS ranking: 1st Mountain/Pacific (Region 5; 502,094 procedures, 30 % share), 2nd New England/Middle Atlantic (Region 1; 319,515, 19 %), 3rd South Atlantic (Region 3; 310,441, 19 %), 4th East/West South Central (Region 4; 274,282, 16 %), and 5th East/West North Central (Region 2; 262,088, 16 %). However, considering underlying populations, distribution and ranking appear to be different, displaying a smaller variance in surgical demand. Further, the number of surgeons and rate of procedures show great regional variation.

Conclusions: Demand for plastic surgery is influenced by patients' geographic background and varies among U.S. regions. While ASPS data provide important information, additional insight regarding the demand for surgical procedures can be gained by taking certain demographic factors into consideration.

Level of evidence v: This journal requires that the authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors

Keywords: Cosmetic surgery; Data analysis; Esthetics; Geography; Plastic surgery; Regional distribution; Statistics; Surgical procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surgery, Plastic / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States