For First Time in 15 Years, Breast Augmentation Isn’t Most Popular Plastic Surgery

by Surgical Times

On April 27, 2021, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released an abbreviated version of its staple Plastic Surgery Statistics Report for the pandemic year, 2020.

The Society sees “pent-up patient demand fueling the industry’s current post-pandemic boom,” according to a press release that accompanies the report.

Amid the postulated demand and promised boom is buried what may be the industry’s most significant recent shift:

Breast augmentation procedures performed dropped by 94,012 in 2020, hitting their lowest level in more than 15 years.

According to the Society, plastic surgeons paused for an average of 8.1 weeks in 2020, or 15% of the year, due to the pandemic, “which mirrors the [-14%] decline in the total number of procedures performed last year.”

But breast augmentations are down more than twice that number: 33 percent fewer breast augmentations were done in 2020 than were done in 2019.

Of all recorded cosmetic surgery procedures, breast augmentation saw the third-largest percentile decrease at -33%, but the single largest numerical decrease in procedures performed at -94,012.

Hair transplantation saw the greatest percentile decrease at -60%, representing -14,678 fewer patients, while calf augmentation saw a -50% decrease, for just -300 fewer patients.

Of the 28 cosmetic surgery procedures covered in the report, only four increased at all in 2020.

Breast implant removal procedures increased by 2,725 in 2020, hitting their highest level in more than 15 years at 36,367 explants done.

For every day of 2020, one hundred women in America had their breast implants removed.

94,012 Fewer Breast Augmentations Were Done in 2020; More Than 2X the Avg. % Drop Per Procedure Attributed to COVID


Of the 28 Cosmetic Surgeries Covered by ASPS Report, Breast Implant Removals saw the Greatest Increase in 2020 (+2,725)

According to ASPS annual statistical reports from 2005 through 2020, in 2020, cosmetic breast implant removal procedures hit their highest point in 15 years, while cosmetic breast augmentation (breast implant) procedures hit their lowest point in 15 years.

Of the 28 Cosmetic Surgeries Covered by ASPS Report, Breast Augmentation saw the Greatest Decrease in 2020 (-94,012)

Breast augmentation surgeries that were canceled, postponed, or simply never started, account for 26% of the difference in total cosmetic surgery procedures performed in 2020 compared to 2019 (94,012 of the 363,582 fewer procedures).

For the First Time in 15 Years, Breast Augmentation is Not the #1 Cosmetic Surgery in America. It fell to #5.

America’s 2nd Most Popular Plastic Surgeon on Instagram, Dr. Cat Begovic, Raises Breast Implant Illness Awareness One Day Before ASPS Report

“Let’s Talk About Breast Implant Illness: The Scary Side of Breast Implants You May Not Know About” – Dr. Cat Begovic, Beverly Hills Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon


  • 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, ASPS
  • “American Society of Plastic Surgeons Unveils COVID-19’s Impact and Pent-Up Patient Demand Fueling the Industry’s Current Post-Pandemic Boom,” ASPS
  • Dr. Cat Begovic, April 26, 2021, Instagram Post.
  • Dr. Cat Begovic, April 26, 2021, Blog

Surgical Times provides objective public interest reporting on the practice of plastic surgery and is not affiliated with or funded by any surgeon or practice.