The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has released data that sheds light on the largest cosmetic surgery trends of 2012. On a whole, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures rose approximately 5% over the numbers from 2011, and more than 14 million procedures were performed in the United States alone. The five most popular options combined to equal a total of nearly one million cases.

Breast Augmentation

Named as the most popular procedure of the year, a total of 286,274 breast augments took place in 2012. This popular option is also known as breast enlargement surgery and can involve the use of either silicone or saline implants.

There are benefits unique to all three types of implants available. Saline implants get their volume from a saltwater solution much like the liquid that's already present in the body. They lose their volume slowly over time, and the liquid can be naturally absorbed by the body. Fans of this type of implant like theirs more natural feel. Silicone implants on the other hand, come in the traditional round shape and new teardrop-shaped versions. They do not lose shape or volume over time, but when one is punctured it must be replaced.


A long-time favorite when it comes to cosmetic surgery, a rhinoplasty repairs a nose's structure to give it a more balanced or desirable look. This procedure is known in everyday lingo as a “nose job.” 242,684 patients had this procedure done in 2012.

Patients who undergo rhinoplasty may do so for a number of reasons. Their nose may be too pointed, too wide, or too large for their face. Others have a crooked nose as a result of an injury earlier in life or are just unsatisfied with the way their nose looks.

Eyelid Surgery

Many people notice signs of aging in the eye area first, and the number of patients who underwent this process in 2012 shows that they are turning to cosmetic surgery to improve their look. Eyelid surgery is customized to fit the exact needs of each patient, although the most common reason for pursuing this option is to eliminate sagging lids and wrinkles. Reports show that 204,015 patients elected to have this procedure in 2012.


Doctors performed liposuction on 202,128 patients during 2012. This procedure involves the removal of excess fat using suction power. Liposuction is commonly paired up with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck, to provide even better results to patients.


There were 126,320 facelifts recorded in the ASPS's 2012 report. This comprehensive procedure can give patients a much younger look. Doctors achieve these results by removing excess facial skin and then pulling the remaining skin tightly. The end result is less sagging and wrinkles.