Why is Liposuction the Most Popular Plastic Surgery Worldwide?

Published: February 23, 2023
Category: Dr. Nathan Leigh, Liposuction, In The News, Blog

Breast augmentation has enjoyed its position as the most popular plastic surgery in the world for years, but according to new data from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), there’s a new first-place winner in town. Over 1.9 million liposuction procedures were performed worldwide in 2021. That is almost a 25% increase from 2020, meaning liposuction accounted for 15% of ALL plastic surgeries performed in 2021. Why this sudden jump in popularity?

What is Liposuction Surgery?

Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that removes stubborn pockets of subcutaneous fat throughout the body,” says Dr. Nathan Leigh, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “In doing so, it redefines bodily contours and achieves a new shape to the body based on the patient’s aesthetic goals. Liposuction is highly customized and can be performed on various body areas, like the arms, stomach, flanks, hips, thighs, and under the chin. This makes liposuction one of the world’s most versatile and flexible plastic surgeries.”

Why Might Someone Want or Need Liposuction Surgery?

Regarding fat loss, one might ask why someone can’t just diet or exercise their fat away. Whether due to genetics, hormones, or endocrine system disorders, it is near impossible for many people to lose fat in some areas of their bodies, regardless of how much dieting and exercise they do.


“Fat accumulation can have several causes, ranging from rare congenital conditions to poor lifestyle and diet choices,” explains Dr. Leigh. “Even if a patient is hyper-vigilant about their health, their metabolisms may begin to slow down as they age, causing them to gain weight despite maintaining the same type of lifestyle. In these cases, liposuction may be the only treatment to help them achieve their desired body shape.”

What Areas of the Body Can Liposuction Treat?

Liposuction wins the versatility award when it comes to plastic surgery procedures. It can be performed on several areas of the body as long as there is adequate fat in the area and the amount of fat being removed falls within safe guidelines.

“If you do not see your liposuction area of concern listed on our website, don’t worry — the odds are that liposuction can still be performed in that area,” advises Dr. Leigh. “If not, we will help you find an alternative treatment to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.”

Popular Areas for Liposuction Surgery

  • Abdomen
  • Ankles
  • Arms
  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Thighs
  • Upper Arms
  • Waist

Why has Liposuction Become So Popular?

“I think there are several reasons why liposuction has enjoyed heightened popularity over the past two years,” says Dr. Leigh. “First, more and more celebrities, like Amy Schumer, are opening up about their positive experiences with the procedure. When patients see the transformative and safe results achieved by people they admire, they feel more comfortable inquiring about the procedure. As a plastic surgeon, I find it refreshing when celebrities are transparent about their procedures and don’t lead their fans into thinking that they have completely reshaped their bodies with a new workout device or the keto diet alone.”

Another reason many plastic surgeons believe that liposuction has pushed breast augmentation from the top spot in the plastic surgery world is fluctuating trends. Aesthetic standards are malleable and evolve with the times and often return full circle after time passes.

“Just like other industries, the plastic surgery world has trends in popularity,” says Dr. Leigh. “Some trends are driven by pop culture, others by shifts in aesthetics standards, and still others by health concerns that may or may not be substantiated,” he continues. “When Chrissy Teigan began posting about her explant surgery, for example, our practice did see an uptick in consults for explant plus breast lift. There is no denying that celebrities have influence. But there are also cycles of popularity. For example, one decade may see patients desiring fuller, larger breasts, while the next decade’s ideal aesthetic is more of a small, athletic, understated shape. In addition, health concerns surrounding textured breast implants, which are extremely rare, may have made some patients wait to have breast augmentation surgery. Regardless, all of these factors added up to knock breast augmentation out of its first position status and allowed liposuction to shine.”

Is Liposuction the Most Popular Procedure in the United States?

Not by much! Although liposuction was the most popular plastic surgery stateside in 2021, it only beat breast augmentation surgery by 0.1%! 19.1% of all plastic surgeries performed in the United States in 2021 were liposuction, but breast augmentation surgery was right at its heels at 19%.

“I believe that liposuction and breast augmentation will always remain in the top four most requested plastic surgeries because of their ability to significantly transform a person’s body and self-confidence,” says Dr. Leigh. “Liposuction can defy genetics and give patients the smaller waistline they’ve always dreamed of, the smooth and curvy hips that make them feel sexier, and slimmer thighs that boost their swimsuit confidence. It’s a life-changing, safe, and effective procedure, and I think its growing popularity is completely warranted!”

Are you interested in reshaping your body with liposuction? Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your options with Dr. Nathan Leigh or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (612) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE.

Schedule A Consultation