When it comes to plastic surgery, procedures like facelifts and tummy tucks are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. According to a study from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the popularity of plastic surgery has been on the rise since 1997.
With breast augmentation procedures leading the way, the ASAPS reports that 1.6 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2010, a 9 percent jump from 2009.
But what’s prompting the bump in boob jobs and other cosmetic procedures?
“We live in an ageist society obsessed with youth. And the truth about aging is it happens early,” says Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS, a dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York.
“My patients want to look younger, more vibrant, rejuvenated and energetic. They start [non-surgical and surgical procedures] in their late 20s and early 30s in an effort to maintain [a youthful appearance]. It has become [a routine] like getting their hair and nails done.”
So what are the top five plastic surgery trends that have been introduced or refined in the last 10 years?
Dr. Jacono and Dr. Jeffrey Donaldson, MD, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, weigh in:
1. Less invasive facelifts
Dr. Jacono: Facelifts used to give patients a pulled, stretched look. We used to do the surgery to pull up the skin like bed sheets. [As a result] patients used to have a large scar that was hard to camouflage. That’s completely changed. The trend has been to use different techniques. With my hybrid Future Lift, the optimal features of older-generation short-incision “mini” facelifts are fused with deep plane facelifts that gently lift underneath the muscle. So instead of a stretched look, you get a natural, rejuvenated look. Since the incision is smaller (about one quarter in length), it can be done through a telescope the same as open-heart surgery. Because the techniques are less invasive, the recovery time is 5-10 days instead of 4-6 weeks.
Cost: Depending on a surgeon’s level of expertise, Dr. Jacono says a less invasive facelift can cost from $6,000-20,000.
2. Lasers to resurface the skin
Dr. Jacono: When our skin tones are uneven, that’s a sign of aging. Just like corduroy has a texture as compared to silk, as we age the texture becomes rougher. So we use Fraxel® Laser Treatment to target damaged skin by creating microscopic “wounds” to trigger collagen production and reverse the signs of aging. We also use lasers to reduce hyper-pigmentation and age spots. We are constantly creating treatments that make people look naturally good.
According to WebMD, Fraxel Laser Resurfacing is the top new anti-aging treatment. Recovery time is about 7-10 days.
Cost: Depending on your condition and the areas to be treated, Dr. Jacono says the cost ranges from $750-1,000 per treatment. The maximum benefit is usually achieved in 4-6 treatment sessions spaced about 2-4 weeks apart.
3. New ways to restore facial volume
Dr. Jacono: When we lose elasticity in our face, our cheekbone and jaw-line structure deflate, and the fabric of our skin starts to degrade. Doctors used to only focus on the sagging part. By using Hyaluronic Acid (Restylane and Juvederm), now we focus on adding volume to the face. We are trying to reshape the face to have higher cheekbones, which is often associated with female beauty.
With fat grafting (also known as fat transfer), we borrow fat from another part of the body, purify those fat tissues and transfer them back into the face. That’s a permanent result that adds volume back to the face. It minimizes the plastic look.
Botox® can be combined with injectable fillers — such as Juvéderm&™ or Restylane®, Radiesse® or Perlane — in a customized “Face Cocktail” to deliver what is known as the “Liquid Face Lift.”
Cost: Dr. Jacono says fat grafting ranges from $5,000-15,000; injectables cost from $500-1000 a vile, and the best results usually require 2-5 viles; and Botox costs about $400-700 per treatment, and one treatment lasts 4-6 months at a time.
4. Silicone breast implants
Dr. Donaldson: In 2006, the FDA re-approved silicone implants for cosmetic breast augmentation. They are safer and more durable, with thicker shells to prevent leakage. The inner silicone gel is more cohesive, so they don’t ooze or spill if punctured. They often look and feel more natural than saline implants (which are just bags of salt water), with less rippling and better maintenance of shape. These re-approved silicone breast implants have been the gold standard for breast cancer reconstruction, and now cosmetic patients are benefiting from the improved implant as well. They come in hundreds of shapes and sizes, and can truly be customized to each patient’s personal goals and anatomic characteristics.
Cost: WebMD reports the cost is between $4,000-7,000, usually not covered by health insurance.
5. Advanced body-contouring techniques
Dr. Donaldson: The increase of patients undergoing Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, LapBand) has created a whole new population of patients with loose, hanging skin. Many people have lost 100 pounds or more, but remained dissatisfied before the advent of comprehensive plastic surgical techniques for body contouring. Anesthesia, peri-operative testing and planning including nutrition and exercise have optimized these patients. Combined operations involving arm, abdomen, leg and face-lifts are possible. Improved liposuction technology (ultrasonic, power-assisted, Vaser) may also be added for even better results.
Cost: WebMD reports the moderate cost is about $4,700 plus hospital and anesthesia fees.