Practice Profile of Practicing Plastic Surgeons: A 20-year Review of Plastic Surgery Statistics

Kristof S. Gutowski, Emily S. Chwa, Joshua P. Weissman, Stuti P. Garg, Christopher J. Simmons, Keith E. Brandt, Arun K. Gosain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evaluation of practice patterns by American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) diplomates allows for a greater understanding as to how the field is progressing. Understanding evolving procedural trends can give insight into plastic surgeons' subspecialty focus and influence resident training to prepare them for future practice. Methods: American Society of Plastic Surgeons member only projections for aesthetic and reconstructive procedures were reviewed from 1999 to 2018 in 5-year increments to identify shifts in frequency between the beginning (1999-2003) and end (2014-2018) of the timeframe. Tracer utilization for all four ABPS modules were also examined between 2014 and 2018. Descriptive statistics were performed to identify significant changes (P < 0.05) in subspecialty focus and procedure trends. Results: Annual procedure incidence between 2014 and 2018 was compared with that between 1999 and 2003. The annual number of procedures more than doubled from 3,244,084 to 6,628,082. Among reconstructive procedures, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of breast reconstruction, breast implant removal, and maxillofacial surgery procedures, and a statistically significant decrease in the number of procedures focused on reconstruction of birth defects, burn injuries, and hand anomalies. In aesthetic surgery, significant increases were seen in the number of augmentation mammoplasty, abdominoplasty, and mastopexy procedures, with significant decreases in the number of blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty procedures. Conclusions: Understanding the changing practice patterns of ABPS diplomates is essential to define the direction that our specialty is taking over time, and to guide program directors in plastic surgery on areas of focus for appropriate training of plastic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E5486
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 22 2023


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