Increases in Cosmetic Procedures Attributed to Social Media Trends and Shifting Perceptions

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Social media and increases in societal acceptance of plastic surgery are influencing the medical aesthetic industry.

It is common knowledge in the beauty industry that social media has a significant influence on consumer perceptions, with seemingly every new trend in medical aesthetics originating from Tik Tok. With all of the viral beauty trends about DIY and professional aesthetic treatments and skin care comes plenty of misinformation.

Doctors and industry experts are encouraging patients to do the research and check with medical professionals before trying new treatments they hear about on social media, and to only undergo enhancement procedures for themselves, not because of what is currently popular.

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Cosmetic surgery continued to grow in 2023 showcasing how minimalism and natural-looking facial enhancements are becoming the go-to for patients. There was also a significant amount of love for fillers, body contouring and BBLs.

According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the plastic surgery sector has experienced a 19% growth since the pre-pandemic times, including a rise in tummy tucks by 37%, liposuctions by 23% and facial procedures by 19% in the last few years.

Nordesthetics clinic, an international clinic in Lithuania, has seen a 10 to 15% increase in invasive beauty procedures in 2023 reaching around 3000 yearlyGediminas Samulenas, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Nordesthetics clinicGediminas Samulenas, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Nordesthetics clinicPhoto courtesy of Nordesthetics clinic international patients, mostly from the United Kingdom.

Gediminas Samulenas, M.D., a surgeon at Nordesthetics clinic, noted that there has been a notable shift in perceptions about plastic surgery, with it becoming more socially acceptable and less stigmatized. He also emphasizes that opting to undergo surgery should be an individual decision rather than one influenced by trends.

"Scrolling through social media, people often feel the pull of current fashion trends, prompting thoughts about enhancing their appearance," Dr. Samulenas said. "Yet, it's vital not to get swept up in these trends, but to choose plastic surgery based on what truly resonates with your personal needs and desires."

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Dr. Samulenas has also seen an increase in plastic surgeries in 2023 for procedures like mommy makeovers, tummy tucks, breast lifts, breast reductions and facelifts, which he attributes to social media trends. The plastic surgeon also sees an increased casualness in plastic surgeries, which could lead to excessive and unnecessary work.

"The goal is to address a person's psychological and physical discomfort, without falling for the collective trends," Dr. Samulenas said. "Patients' ease towards surgery might inadvertently lead to multiple procedures. However, our responsibility lies in ethical practices. Surgeons must intervene when excessive surgeries are sought without medical indications. When patients approach plastic surgery casually, they risk undergoing multiple surgeries unintentionally. Excessive surgeries are concerning."

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