The number of U.S. women having their breast implants permanently removed increased by 47 percent in 2021.
Nearly 365,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2021, getting breast implants for the first time.
Another 219,000 women, who already had breast implants, chose to have them removed.
Sixty-eight percent of those women chose to have new implants put in in place of the old (148,000).
More than 71,000 of them, however, chose to have their implants removed forever.
That’s an increase of 47%, year over year, and a three percent larger increase than the number of women who received implants for the first time, up 44% in 2021.
The number of patients opting for fat grafting to the breasts also increased by 117 percent.
Fat grafting is most commonly done in lieu of breast implants but can also be done to complement them.
Augmentation was the most popular cosmetic breast surgery of the year, coming in behind liposuction, with 491,000 patients, as the most popular of all plastic surgery procedures.
Breast implant removal and replacement was the fifth most popular procedure of the year.
Revenue generated by U.S. plastic surgeons from primary breast augmentation surgery was $1.54-billion in 2021, an increase of 51% year over year, according to an Aesthetic Society report.
Breast implant removal and replacement surgeries netted $562-million for U.S. plastic surgeons, an increase of 36%.
Permanent breast implant removal surgery, or explant surgery, drew in $225-million in surgeon’s fees in 2021, an increase of 28%.
Of the three procedures, only permanent breast implant removal, or explant surgery, got less expensive, according to The Aesthetic Society.
Breast augmentation surgery was 4% more costly to the average patient, and removing and replacing old breast implants was 3% more costly.
Permanently removing breast implants was 13% cheaper on average.
On average, it is more expensive for a patient to get breast implants ($4,235) than it is to have those implants permanently removed ($3,161), while removal and replacement costs $3,812.
To each of these surgeon’s fees would be added the cost of anesthesia, hospital use, and other expenses, which are not included in published figures.
Breast work nets surgeons $3.8-billion USD
In all, performing the nine breast surgery procedures for which the Aesthetic Society tracks statistics, U.S. plastic surgeons earned a total of $3.8-billion for breast work in 2021.
The nine procedures include augmentation, breast fat grafting, breasts lifts and breast reductions, and implant removal.
Of the panoply of procedures performed by plastic surgeons in 2021, breast surgeries collectively earned more than any other category, but the facelift, at $9,127, was the single most costly procedure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has yet to issue its annual statistics for 2021. Its last report highlighted similar trend shifts in breast augmentation and explant surgery.