Plastic surgery is on the rise: in 2019, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) published new findings about the increasing popularity of plastic surgery, Their data indicates that nearly 18 million people underwent cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2018, almost a quarter of a million more procedures compared to the previous calendar year. Part of the reason cosmetic surgery is growing so rapidly is because the options have improved: new technology has increased the demand for minimally invasive procedures that require little down time and scarring.
Preventative Cosmetic Care
The cosmetic surgery industry, especially dermatology, is anticipating the effects of time with technology that prevents signs of aging and discoloration before they happen. So-called preventative dermatological procedures are designed for patients who exhibit a likelihood of developing skin problems later on, particularly wrinkles and discoloration due to aging. Anti-aging injections prevent facial lines (wrinkles) by blocking the signals from your nerves to your muscles and inhibiting specific muscles from contracting. Anti-aging injections are suitable for persons over the age of 18 who are looking to offset the development of wrinkles with a minimal disruption.
Computer-assisted imaging offers exacting, 3-D representations of the target outcome for patients before undergoing surgery. For example, computer-assisted imaging is commonly used in craniofacial surgery to correct skeletal deformities in infant facial bones. With imaging, surgeons can not only reconstruct the affected areas in infants, but they can also help the tissues grow with the child. For cosmetic procedures, computer-assisted imaging ensures that a surgeon and their patient will have the same understanding of the finished result by having a version of it right there in front of them, so everything from a facelift to a full reconstruction can be more effectively mapped out and agreed upon before the surgery takes place.
Stem Cell Growth
Stem cell technology is at the forefront of new research in plastic surgery. In particular, many medical researchers are looking for ways to combine stem cells with tissue engineering to grow new skin for cosmetic procedures. Through this model, skin tissue will be grown in the laboratory and implanted to restore form and function into damaged skin. For aesthetic procedures, stem cells also provide a possible material for fillers that reproduce tissue from the patient’s DNA. Stem cell cosmetic surgery is thought of as an enhanced version of autologous fat transfer surgery: a fat-grafting procedure that performs liposuction on places of the body with excess fat, which is then cleaned and injected for a facelift or subtle breast augmentation. Stem cells are more likely to grow in new tissue, whereas fat transfer exhibits a high tendency for the fat to become reabsorbed into the body.
Technology has utterly transformed surgical methods and the cosmetic industry is no exception. New innovations in the field mean that more patients are likely to seek out minimally invasive and affordable procedures, particularly as a tool to fight the effects of aging and gravity on the face.