For the past two decades, nonsurgical procedures and their evolving techniques have grown by leaps and bounds, with enormous advancements made in the quality and variety of available options.
These advancements are great news for plastic surgeons, as well as the patients looking for nonsurgical options to achieve their aesthetic goals. Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery back up this claim. The year 2014 saw 8.9 million nonsurgical procedures performed, compared to just over 740,000 in 1997.
Innovations in Cosmetic Procedures
Like the rest of the medical field, plastic surgery is an industry that is always changing and evolving techniques. Procedures that were revolutionary when first introduced are tweaked and refined to produce better results. Alternatively, new procedures hit the market that come with fewer side effects or boast longer-lasting results, making their predecessors obsolete.
Each year we seem to get at least one revolutionary new procedure that patients flock to, one that produces such amazing results that it quickly becomes a mainstay.
Expectations for Nonsurgical Procedures in 2017
One nonsurgical option that burst onto the scene and quickly became one of the world’s most popular procedures is Botox. This injectable has been popular since the early 2000s, but that hasn’t kept its makers from looking for ways to take Botox in new directions.
Expect to see greater testing in topical Botox applications, such as creams and serums. These are even less invasive, as they don’t require an injection. One drawback is that results aren’t immediately visible, but plenty of patients will appreciate this option.
Hitting the scene in 2016 was Kybella, an injectable that destroys fat cells under the chin, and patients raved about the results. At this point, Kybella is the only product that destroys a double chin without surgery. In fact, it’s the only fat-destroying injectable period. Expect even more people to sign up for Kybella in 2017.
Speaking of innovative procedures that perfect yesterday’s cutting edge technology, SculpSure is probably going to be huge. This laser treatment uses heat to destroy fat cells, with a revolutionary applicator that makes subtle contouring possible (its predecessor, Cool Sculpting, is effective but often creates a “shelf” effect due to it vacuum-type application).
How Nonsurgical Procedures Support Plastic Surgery
The same way people thought TV signaled the end of films, many people in this industry feared that the rise of these nonsurgical treatments signaled the end of plastic surgery. Instead, they’ve created new possibilities for surgeons, as well as new opportunities to couple surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
Patients may choose nonsurgical alternatives to help maintain the results of their surgeries, or to augment them. This is particularly true with procedures of the face, such as facelifts and eyelifts. Laser procedures and injectables are two effective means of supplementing these surgeries.
These noninvasive options have also greatly broadened surgeons’ options in meeting their patients’ aesthetic goals. With a lower cost, the available pool of clientele expands significantly. In addition, many patients who shy away from the idea of surgery are often more open to one of these noninvasive procedures.
Allowing Patients to Lead the Way
One of the most exciting aspects of these procedures is the fact that consumer demand helps drive innovation. As their patients make their wants known, surgeons and others in the industry respond. Suddenly, we have surgery-free facelifts, an idea that likely entered no one’s mind as possible 20 years ago.
As technology advances, and consumer demand grows, the plastic surgery industry keeps responding, continually providing newer and better options.