These Will Be the Biggest Plastic Surgery Trends of 2024
“Menopause makeovers” and all the lifts — face, breast, and neck — are set to dominate plastic surgery in 2024, as patients and doctors chase more natural-looking results and address the aftereffects of Ozempic.
By Elizabeth Siegel
December 6, 2023
Once the stuff of whispers and sideways glances, plastic surgery has come out of the shadows. Way out. More of us than ever are getting plastic surgery — there’s been a 19% increase in total procedures performed since 2019, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) — and more of us are talking about it.
Melissa Doft, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, describes recent demand as “an explosion.” She’s even found herself operating on Saturdays. We know “nobody needs an emergency facelift on a Saturday,” she jokes, it’s just the only way she can manage her ever-growing patient load.
Paradoxically, the look that everyone is going for is, well, shrinking. “There was this huge emphasis on bigger is better 10 years ago, whether it was butts or boobs — the more extreme it was, the greater the value there was to it,” says Mark Mofid, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego and a clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “People are really moving away from that, whether it’s overfilled cheeks, overfilled lips, things like that.
This aesthetic shift has changed the plastic surgery procedures patients are asking for — and how doctors are performing them. “The patient who would’ve been a ‘never facelift’ — meaning they would’ve said they’d never get one — is seriously considering it,” says Julius Few, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Chicago. Many younger people, who have gotten used to appearance changes after dabbling in fillers in their 20s and 30s, are asking about procedures historically tailored for the over-50 demographic. And while a 40-year-old may not be a candidate for a traditional neck lift, a new twist on the classic procedure is gaining steam.
This all makes for a very interesting year ahead. Read on for a preview of the top plastic surgery trends of 2024.
In this story:
Breast Reductions, Smaller Implants, and Breast Lifts
Liposuction With Breast Procedures
New Facelift Techniques
Chin Implants With Jawline Liposuction
Post-Op Care Will Get Easier
We’re not used to seeing the words “menopause makeover” together, but the phrase may soon be as common as “mommy makeover.” Plastic surgeons are just starting to talk about menopause makeovers as a way to address bodily changes that we now know are caused by the hormonal shifts of menopause. “I was incorrectly taught that as estrogen goes down, breasts tend to shrink a little bit,” says Steven Teitelbaum, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. “But instead, many women tend to put on a little bit of weight in the upper chest, in front of the armpit, and in the upper arms — there’s a thickening of the torso even in women who are continuing the same diet and exercise routines.”
There’s no one procedure that is specific to menopause, but a patient who has long entertained the idea of a breast reduction may finally want to get one, someone with implants may opt for a smaller size, or someone may get a breast lift to reshape their chest. Dr. Teitelbaum often combines one of these procedures with liposuction on what he calls the “poof of fat” in front of the armpits, and sometimes on the upper arms, the lower back, and/or stomach (unless the patient has had children, in which case they’d probably get a tummy tuck because there is excess skin there as well). Targeting the armpits “really changes what you see in the mirror,” he says. “It makes you look more slender. It’s a visual cue that makes you presuppose, correctly or incorrectly, what the rest of a person’s body is like.”
Of course, menopause is nothing new, but opting for surgery when you reach this stage is part of a growing awareness that hormonal changes bring physical effects that are beyond our control. “More people were blaming it on themselves in the past — ‘Oh, I gained weight and can’t take care of myself,’” says Dr. Teitelbaum. “Now there’s much more recognition of, ‘Hey, nothing I can do about this in the gym.’” And pulling the trigger on getting breast reduction during menopause is part of another trend…
Breast Reductions, Smaller Implants, and Breast Lifts
Over the last four years, the number of breast reductions has shot up by 54%, according to the ASPS, while the most requested implant sizes have gotten smaller. “Five years ago, everyone wanted to be a C cup or some people wanted to be a D; now it’s a large B, small C,” says Dr. Doft, an observation echoed by all the plastic surgeons we interviewed. Patients might say they want a more “athletic-looking” body, want to be able to go braless, or “want a small curve that’s more manageable — they don’t want their breasts defining them,” explains Dr. Few.
There are medical upsides to smaller implants too: “Long-term, it potentially causes less injury to the breast,” says Dr. Mofid. “At some point, usually in the mid-60s and beyond, patients tend to not want large breasts anymore, and if you’ve really stretched out the skin [with large implants], now you’re talking about a pretty substantial lift with implant removal.” That could mean a riskier procedure, he says, because “historically, one of the issues with removing implants and doing a lift at the same time is that you worry about the blood supply to the nipple.”
Indeed, more people are having their implants removed: Dr. Teitelbaum and Dr. Few say a lot of their patients are choosing to have implants taken out altogether around the 10-year mark, whether it’s because of questions surrounding implants (a controversial topic full of misinformation that is a whole article on its own) or aesthetic reasons.
Other patients who might have asked for implants just a few years ago are now skipping them, instead getting breast lifts to perk things up without adding volume. “It’s typically the woman who has had children. The kids are getting ready to go to kindergarten or preschool, and they’re ready to have more ‘me time,’” says Dr. Few. This is a patient who “100% would have said ‘I want to do an implant’ five years ago.” And this is one reason breast lifts have been one of the top-five most requested procedures two years running, after never having graced the list before, according to the ASPS.
Breast lifts are becoming more nuanced too. Says Dr. Doft, “I have a lot of patients who come in now who want to be androgynous, and want a breast that is beautiful and can be very feminine, but could also be hidden when they want it to be. They’ll say, ‘Sometimes I like to feel more feminine, and sometimes I kind of want to hide my femininity.’” It’s a slightly different procedure, Dr. Doft explains, adding that she had two breast-lift patients on the same day who both wanted to be a B cup but for different reasons. “One said, ‘I’m very athletic. I like to run, and my breasts are too large and they’re asymmetric.’ The other said, ‘I don’t feel like my body represents who I am.’” Dr. Doft gave the first patient a perkier lift and the second a shape that “was almost like a ballerina, small and understated.”
Elizabeth Siegel is the deputy beauty director of Allure Magazine and a beauty journalist with over 15 years of experience. Her work has be published on Elle.com and WWD Beauty Biz, and she previously held roles at Attention and W Magazine.
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