AAFPRS Survey Reveals Younger Patients Trend

The annual survey released by the AAFPRS reveals increases in millennial patients, minimally invasive procedures and the power of social media on the aesthetic patient.

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) released its annual survey earlier this year exploring top trends in facial plastic surgery and revealing the most popular procedures and influences in 2019.

Overall, nonsurgical procedures increased by 13% compared to 2018, while facial plastic surgery only increased by 6%.

As a whole, minimally invasive and nonsurgical treatments are now 85% of all procedures performed by AAFPRS members.

“…85 percent [sic] of the total number of procedures performed by AAFPRS members is now composed of minimally invasive non-surgical procedures with skin treatments (up 39 percent), fillers (up 13 percent), and Neurotoxins/Botox (up 12 percent) topping the list,” according to the press release announcing survey results.

The most common surgical procedures performed last year were rhinoplasty, facelifts and blepharoplasty.

The biggest trend, according to the AAFPRS, is the millennial generation’s interest in nonsurgical and preventive care.

In 2019, the AAFPRS reported that 74% of facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in patients under the age of 30 visiting the practice for minimally invasive procedures.

A total of 73% of academy members believe that early maintenance in a patient’s 20s and 30s is becoming increasingly more common to help delay the need for surgical procedures.

The power of social media continued to influence patient behavior in 2019. The AAFPRS reported that last year 72% of their members saw patients seeking aesthetic procedures to look better in selfies, up 15% since 2018. There was also an 11% increase in patients seeking treatment because of dissatisfaction with social media profile pictures.

“Our annual statistics continue to show significant increases in the social media category,” says Mary Lynn Moran, M.D., facial plastic surgeon and AAFPRS president. “Clearly social media remains a huge incentive to have some work done with even more surgeons than last year reporting that patients are seeking cosmetic procedures to look better in selfies, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live and other social channels.”

The association cites celebrities such as the Kardashian-Jenner family, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper as having the most influence on cosmetic procedure requests for women and men, respectively, with 84% of members agreeing that celebrities motivate patients’ desires for aesthetic procedures. In 2019 there was also a 4% increase of patients requesting the same procedures as a celebrity.

Dr. Moran notes that while there were many increases seen for cosmetic procedures in 2019, she expects the numbers reported for 2020 will be lower due to the coronavirus shutdown this year that either fully or partially closed aesthetic practices.

“I think that given the duration of the shutdown, which for most people was about a quarter of the year on average, the financial compromise incurred by potential patients, the concern about transmission in the medical setting, and even further wariness about surgical procedures on the face and especially the nose, the numbers will be reduced, especially when it comes to surgery,” says Dr. Moran in an email to Aesthetic Authority. “I expect [it] to rebound in the future but the overall numbers for 2020 will be down.”