Just as fashion sees trends come and go, so does plastic surgery. Statistics from a variety of the United States’ top medical societies and industry resources reveal some interesting changes to the norm. Check out these 5 recent trends:
1. Silicone Is Surging
Breast augmentation has long been one of the most popular plastic surgery treatments, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. What has changed in recent years is a shift from saline breast implants to silicone.
In 2006, silicone breast implants were approved by the FDA for use in any patient age 22 or older. In less than a decade, the material has surged to become the most popular choice in the vast majority of breast augmentation procedures. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 80% of patients chose it in 2014.
Dr. Alyson Wells, a breast augmentation specialist in the Baltimore area, says on her website that silicone implants “closely mimic the density and texture of breast tissue and so have a softer, more natural feel and (usually) less visible rippling.” Still, though, she describes benefits of saline as being cheaper and requiring shorter scars. It seems that both can be good options for certain patients, but many women are willing to invest more for a natural look and feel.
2. Location, Location, Location
It’s no surprise that where you live influences your fashion choices, but your plastic surgery preferences? According to RealSelf, an extremely popular online forum for the plastic surgery world, people in Arizona want to target age spots, Floridians are all about treating cellulite, and Southerners want a solution for belly fat. RealSelf also performed a New York vs. Los Angeles survey that showed East Coasters were more interested in buttock enhancement and Californians were hot for breast augmentation.
3. No More Fat, No Incision Needed
OK, this isn’t actually a surgery trend. In fact, it’s a trend of people skipping liposuction and opting for non-surgical treatments to eliminate fat. The ASAPS reported that non-surgical fat reduction procedures were up 42% from 2013 to 2014.
Liposuction is still extremely popular, but a few other options have arisen in the past few years that kill fat cells without surgery, and business is booming. CoolSculpting® is perhaps the most popular of these. It uses low temperatures to freeze fat cells, which are more vulnerable to cold than other kinds of tissue. Other devices rely on lasers, ultrasound, and radiofrequency energy. Patients can see results of around 20% to 30% reduction of unwanted fat in the treated area.
4. Check Your Neck
A pair of new procedures came out this year that specifically target the fat on the upper neck that causes a “double chin.” The aforementioned CoolSculpting is one of them. In September, the maker of the device, which had previously worked for only the midsection and thighs, came out with a new attachment that treats the double chin.
The other treatment is KYBELLA® injections, which started hitting plastic surgeons’ offices in the summer. Industry leaders are calling kybella a game-changer, because it’s the first fat-melting injectable treatment. It uses a substance called deoxycholic acid, which our digestive systems use to break down dietary fat, to dissolve double chin fat in a similar way. It requires a few sessions of multiple injections to get good results.
Liposuction is an effective treatment for this area, too, but the surge in non-surgical alternatives is bringing new attention to the double chin.
5. Bottoms Are Big
This one probably won’t come as too much of a surprise unless you have been living under a rock; it’s the Brazilian butt lift. Certain celebrities who shall remain nameless are cited as driving the trend in full, round, backsides.
A Brazilian butt lift involves taking fat from one area of the body where it’s unwanted — say the tummy or hips — and using it to enhance the buttocks, creating a lifted effect and dramatic curves. This technique is called “fat grafting,” and it’s used to enhance other areas, as well, such as the face for anti-aging purposes. Fat grafting techniques have improved vastly in the past 5 years or so, fueling the butt lift trend.
Activity on RealSelf has more than doubled since 2012, and users give it a “worth it rating” of 93%.
Those are just a handful of the latest plastic surgery trends. With cosmetic enhancement in general becoming more popular with each passing year, who knows what tomorrow will bring?
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