ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Outside of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch and Jennifer and Brad’s divorce, making headlines this year were various stories about plastic surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) presents the 2005 Top 10 Plastic Surgery Hot Topics.
"This is an exciting time in plastic surgery," said ASPS President Bruce Cunningham, MD. "Innovations in technology and technique lead the way while a more diverse range of patients seek procedures."
Silicone breast implants could be coming back – After thirteen years of restricted access, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed silicone implants from manufacturers - Inamed and Mentor - approvable with conditions. There is no set date, however, for the return of implants to the market.
Face transplant coming to America – Recent news has focused on the partial face transplant in France; however, plastic surgeons in the United States have been debating, researching and preparing for the first complete facial transplant. Two institutions have given surgeons clearance to perform the procedure on a qualified candidate. Experts suggest the first transplant in the United States will occur in the next 12 months.
Manufacturers investing in the future – Looking to boost their position in the fast-growing cosmetic plastic surgery market, several large plastic surgery product companies like Allergan, Inc. and Mentor Corporation have begun efforts to acquire other manufacturers. Focused around breast implants and injectable wrinkle fighters, these companies hope to capitalize on the highly demanding baby boomers.
Liposuction without the suction – Being called the "Botox® of body contouring," focused ultrasound may become the hot new non-invasive procedure for body sculpting. Clinical studies found the procedure significantly reduces the circumference of the leg and abdominal regions. Using ultrasound, plastic surgeons disrupt, destroy and disperse targeted fat cells, which may be able to give patients the benefits of liposuction without the incisions and recovery time. Manufacturers hope to gain FDA approval in the next 24 months.
Only the rich and famous; think again – A groundbreaking study found 71 percent of people considering plastic surgery had annual household incomes of less than $60,000. Only 13 percent reported an annual household income of over $90,000.
No endorsement for mesotherapy – A recent study shows there is no evidence proving the safety and long-term efficacy of mesotherapy. None of the substances used to inject patients are approved by the FDA and there is no standardization of technique.
Injectables fill the market – Cosmetic patients have more minimally invasive options today with the advent of injectable wrinkle fillers and laser technologies. The latest ASPS procedural statistics report minimally invasive procedures climbed 36 percent while surgical cosmetic procedures declined 8 percent from 2000 to 2004.
Diversity among plastic surgery patients - More than 1.3 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed on ethnic patients in 2004, an increase of 44 percent since 2000. Fourteen percent of all cosmetic plastic surgery patients were Asian, Black, or Hispanic. These patients have similar motivations as other patients, and often prefer to maintain their ethnic identity while achieving a more youthful appearance.
Reconstructing battle wounds – Reconstructive plastic surgery is playing a larger role in the Iraq War partly because today, more wounded soldiers are surviving their injuries. Though body armor is effective in reducing injuries, blasts from suicide bombs and land mines have produced an unprecedented number of mangled extremities. With modern techniques, plastic surgeons are able to provide injured soldiers a better quality of life and save limbs that may have been amputated in previous wars.
No new taxes – In a subtle but important victory for the average American, lawmakers in several states elected not to impose a tax on cosmetic procedures. Legislation was considered in Illinois, Washington, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Arkansas when budgets came up short.