The 2000s Were The Decade Of The Breast Implant

Many types of plastic surgery, including nose jobs, liposuction, and lip augmentation are on the decline, but there's one procedure that's more popular than ever: breast enhancements. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of breast implant operations in the U.S. increased 39% in the last decade.

Breast lifts have also seen a huge jump; the number of procedures rose 70% since 2000. As for operations to make boobs smaller, the number of breast reductions decreased by 2% in the last decade, and breast implant removal procedures dropped 47% since 2000. While women are still willing to go under the knife to make their breasts larger, in other areas people are opting for less invasive procedures. The New York Times reports:

Several once-popular surgical procedures have declined in the past decade. They include:

Liposuction: 203,106, down 43 percent.
Nose jobs: 252,261, down 35 percent.
Eyelid surgery: 208,764, down 36 percent.
Face-lifts: 112,955, down 16 percent.

Many surgical procedures have been replaced by noninvasive treatments developed in the past decade. Some of the most popular noninvasive procedures last year, compared with the year 2000, include:

Botox injections: 5.4 million, up 584 percent.
Wrinkle fillers: 1.8 million, up 172 percent.
Laser hair removal: 937,601, up 27 percent.

In January the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons released similar data, which found the number of breast enhancement surgeries in the U.K. jumped 10% between 2009 and 2010. (In the U.S. they were up 2% in the last year.) But, while British papers helpfully explained that Christina Hendricks was to blame for the recent trend (even though Mad Men has been on for years), the Times offers no dubious celebrity connection to back up this data.

We're tempted to say the enduring popularity of breast enhancement surgeries is simply due to continued pressure on women to have large breasts, and the procedures becoming cheaper and less risky over the past decade. But clearly that won't do. Let's work out whether we should blame this trend on the Real Housewives, the Girls Next Door, or, to bring things back to the turn of the millenium, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera's alleged enhancements.

A Decade of Boosting Breast Size [The New York Times]

Image via Benko Zsolt/Shutterstock.