Plastic surgeons see increase in celebrity-inspired requests

WASHINGTON — Call it the Kardashian effect. Plastic surgeons say they are seeing a big jump in the number of patients asking for buttocks lifts and augmentations.

“Just like celebrities drive trends in fashion and music, they are also helping to drive some trends in plastic surgery,” says Dr. Joseph Michaels, a plastic surgeon in Bethesda, Maryland.

He is already seeing the trend in his own practice, and says many patients prefer a fat transfer: taking fat from a part of the body they want to make smaller and using it to “augment their own buttocks with their own tissue.”

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States last year, an increase of 3 percent over 2013.

Buttocks lifts and augmentations were among the fastest-growing procedures, while face-lifts, eyelid surgeries and breast augmentations all declined.

Michaels says the majority of the patients asking for buttocks procedures are in their 20s and want a more hourglass shape.  But he says he also sees a fair number of patients who have lost large amounts of weight and want to contour their new bodies.

All these cosmetic surgeries put together do not even come close to equaling the number of patients who ask for noninvasive treatments such as Botox and fillers — a record 13.9 million Americans in 2014.

It’s especially popular in the D.C. area, where people are seeking a more subtle change in their appearances.

“They don’t want to look different. They don’t want anyone to know that they have had anything done, but they want to look great,” says Michaels.

He says there has been a significant improvement in noninvasive techniques in recent years, and that patients like the idea that they are can boost their appearances without any downtime.

“Usually, we can buy them several years and maybe postpone them even wanting to go under the knife,” he added.

Here, as around the country, more women than men are asking for Botox and other cosmetic procedures.  But Michaels says the gender gap is narrowing,

“It has just become less of a taboo for men to get Botox — we sometimes call it Brotox,” he says.

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