A few decades ago, when plastic surgery was just becoming a widely available option, it would have been impossible to predict the explosive growth and development of the field. Now, it seems that each year brings with it a new wave of technological breakthroughs and better-than-ever results. Since the cosmetic surgery choices you make will have an impact on your appearance for the rest of your life, it is important to consider all the options available, including those that might be a few years away. To learn more, look ahead with us toward the future of plastic surgery.
The number one trend in cosmetic surgery is: growth. The number of surgeries performed annually is predicted to double in the period from 2010 to 2017, with 15 million surgical procedures ultimately being performed annually. This growth is in part due to the trend of repeat patients who return multiple times, and in part because the need for revision surgery is expected to expand rapidly as more and more patients opt for plastic surgery for the first time.
…That are Less “Surgical”
Another expected trend is an increase in the use of minimally invasive techniques. There are no scars to deal with if no incisions are made, and so techniques for using needles or cannulas to either insert of remove tissue are predicted to grow in popularity. This will probably be accompanied by a drop in the number of procedures like facelifts, which may be replaced by new and improved filler materials (see below).
Results Will Look More Natural
While plastic surgery outcomes are always improving, some areas in particular may see a rapid improvement in the “naturalness” of procedures. Filler technology has improved significantly over the last few years, with materials like Voluma, Sculptra®, and Artefill promising durable results for two to five years, and possibly even longer. Surgeons are also becoming more refined in their techniques for administering these and other injectables, such as BOTOX®, using smaller syringes and other methods to minimize swelling, bruising, and “frozen” faces. Lip filler treatments may also become more subtle, while simultaneously improving in durability.
A Changing Patient Base
Plastic surgery patients, traditionally, have been middle-aged women between 35 and 50 years of age—the women who in 2003 underwent over 45% of all cosmetic procedures. Just 10 years on, a shift in plastic surgery demographics has begun, with the distribution of procedures performed on both younger and older women increasing. As the age diversity of plastic surgery patients grow, so too will the gender and ethnic diversity, as cosmetic enhancement becomes more widely accessible (and accepted) to the general population.