New Aesthetic Society Survey Notes Drop in Breast Augmentation Surgery, Rise in Explantation image

There was a 15 percent decrease in breast augmentation surgery in 2019, according to new statistics from the Aesthetic Society. What’s more, breast implant removal increased by 34.4 percent in 2019. These statistics are likely driven by concerns about breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma. 

To that end, The Aesthetic Society has launched new efforts to educate patients who have had or are exploring breast implant surgery.

The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) is the research arm of The Aesthetic Society. ASERF identifies and pursues issues relevant to the advancement and safety in aesthetic medicine. Recently, ASERF awarded a significant research grant towards a pilot study to identify a genetic predisposition to BIA-ALCL.

In addition, "Aesthetic One - The Patient App" is a mobile platform developed through support from Allergan. It empowers patients— facilitating two-way doctor-patient communication and acquiring essential data related to breast implant patients. The app is under development and will be available to patients in fall 2020.

A new patient decision aid (PDA) will support prospective breast implant patients with the critical education needed to provide informed consent. The Aesthetic Society's PDA is designed for use throughout the consultation and informed consent process to assist in shared decision-making. It is structured to help prepare patients for each decision point before breast augmentation surgery and during the lifespan of the breast implant.

"The decrease in breast augmentation surgery last year does not come as a surprise to our membership as breast implant devices remain fiercely discussed," explains Herluf G. Lund, MD, President of The Aesthetic Society, in a news release. "Our members are committed to patient safety, advancing the quality of care, and practicing medicine based upon the best available scientific evidence. The research we perform and tools we create are all to empower the patient and ultimately provide the safest possible outcome."

About the new statistics

A paper-based questionnaire was mailed to 7,000 plastic surgeons board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. An online version of the questionnaire was also available. A total of 331 board-certified plastic surgeons returned questionnaires. While surveys were distributed to all domestic, board-certified plastic surgeons, the results may reflect the activities of surgeons who primarily conduct aesthetic surgical procedures. Final figures have been projected to reflect nationwide statistics. Confidence intervals change by procedure, depending on the grouping’s sample size and the response variance, though the overall survey portion of this research has a standard error of +/- 5.26% at a 95% level of confidence.