Butt Implants Are Taking Over The World Of Plastic Surgery

Thanks a lot, Kim Kardashian—derriere procedures are the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in the U.S.

(Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso)
Feb 26, 2016 at 5:12 PM ET

Plastic surgery as a whole is on the rise in the U.S., but—butt!—one body part in particular is leading the way. Or, one might say, bringing up the rear. Buttocks implants were the fastest growing cosmetic surgery last year, according to data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A press release puts it in even more dramatic terms: “there was a buttock procedure every 30 minutes of every day, on average.”

“We’re seeing much more diversity in the areas of the body patients are choosing to address,” wrote ASPS President David H. Song, in a statement. “Patients have more options than ever, and working closely with their surgeon, they’re able to focus on specific target areas of the body to achieve the look they desire.”

Increasingly, the derriere is the “target area” of choice. The most popular booty surgery is augmentation with fat grafting, often referred to as a Brazilian butt lift, which involves harvesting fat from one’s own body, then injecting it into the butt. Last year saw 14,705 operations, a 28 percent rise from 2014. Next up: buttocks lifts, which, ehem, rose from from 1,356 in 2000 to 4,767 in 2015. That’s a 252 percent increase—much bigger than the 89 percent increase in breast lifts during the same period. Then there’s buttock implants, which rose 36 percent from 2014 to 2,540 procedures in 2015.

Despite this dramatic rise, butt surgeries still can’t compete with the popularity of breast implants, which took the largest share of the 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed last year. There were 279,143 breast augmentations in 2015, a 2 percent decrease from 2014. Liposuction, the next most popular procedure, was up 5 percent, with just over 222,000 surgeries last year. Nose reshaping surgeries took third place and eyelid surgeries took fourth. In fifth, tummy tucks, with 127,967 procedures, a 9 percent increase from the prior year.

Butt implants still have a long way to go before catching up with the popularity of breast surgeries—but if the 36 percent increase seen last year predicts what’s to come, it just might happen. Bottoms up!