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Trend Spotting: 2011

By Toni Negas
Posted On Jan 11, 2011

At the end of each year, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) releases their annual predictions for cosmetic surgery trends in the New Year, which are based on interviews with their plastic surgery members around the country. While these trends are developed from the surgeon’s perspective, one thing we don’t get from the ASAPS report is the real-woman’s perspective.

Here’s where I come in…

As a woman who has inside access to the trends and truths and latest and greatest in the cosmetic surgery industry (I attend the professional meetings and talk to these doctors myself)—and coming at these from the consumer perspective, I’m bringing you insights relevant to you, the consumer, into what we can expect to “trend” in the coming year.

1. I Want A ‘Lift’

The ASAPS believes “facelifts and other facial rejuvenation surgery will increase.” I think aesthetic plastic surgeons would LIKE to see an increase in facial surgery (it is, after all, what they do best!), but I think the trend will remain going the non-surgical route whenever possible. Why the difference in perspective? They like their scalpels, we don’t. (And that’s a fact!)

The good news is that emerging ultrasound technology Ulthera is proving to be the best nonsurgical facial tightening and lifting this industry has ever seen. The fact remains: If you have lots of excess facial skin, the scalpel is your best bet. But for the rest of us? Ulthera is the real deal. You can realistically get very good tightening and lifting results to the brow ($2000) or to the entire face and neck ($4000) in a single session, say the experts based on results they see with their patients. Of course the technology is only as good as it’s operator, so you’ll want to find a doctor who has specific experience and skill with Ulthera.

Who would I send my mother to?

Julius Few, MD (Illinois)

Hema Sundara, MD (Washington DC)

2. Inject Me Baby

The inside buzz is all about the new injectable products that are expected to get FDA approval this year. From the consumer perspective, however, this is only interesting if competing products result in reduced costs. (Can I get an “amen”?). Ladies, regardless of new injectable products entering the market, we will continue to pursue the preventive and corrective benefits injectables offer.

But speaking of “reduced” costs, the ASAPS brings up an important issue. They predict, “Consumers looking for a bargain on cosmetic procedures will unfortunately lead to an increase in horror stories about ‘discount injectables’ bought offshore and cosmetic medicine and cosmetic surgical procedures performed by untrained or poorly trained practitioners.”

Ladies (and Gents), let’s try to make this prediction FALSE.

Let me be perfectly frank with you: There is no such thing as a “deal” on injectables. If market competition among manufacturers drive national retail prices down, that’s one thing. If you’re getting an unbelievable “discount,” take my advice: Don’t even go there. This is an industry where you’ve got to realize that it’s your FACE we’re talking about. Better to have a few wrinkles than disfigurement. (It happens!)

Who would I send my mother to?

Leslie Baumann, MD (Florida)

Cheryl Burgess, MD (Washington DC)

Vivian Bucay, MD (Texas)

Joel Schlessinger, MD (Nebraska)

3. Shedding the Second Skin

The ASAPS predicts that “As our population increasingly realizes the dangers and health consequences of obesity, the number of patients seeking plastic surgery procedures for body contouring after dramatic weight loss (abdominoplasty, lower body lift, upper arm lift, etc.) will rise in 2011.”

I think they’re right, but I think the actual trend will be a growing awareness of the post massive weight loss body itself. One of the biggest things the media doesn’t acknowledge is that in the massive weight loss process, you’re left with what’s essentially a “second skin.” The tragedy is that once you lose the weight after gastric bypass or a lap-band procedure, you don’t naturally molt. Rather, you’re left with excess skin that’s a daily reminder of your former self. As of now, insurance companies largely don’t pay for this surgery, which can run around $30,000 for a full body lift. So while I think we may see a modest increase in body lifting surgeries, surgical costs will remain prohibitive for most consumers.


Who would I send my mother to?

Angelo Cuzalina, MD (Oklahoma)

Michael Rosenberg, MD (New York)

Siamak Agha-Mohammadi, MD (California)

4. Breasts, Buttocks & Bodies (Oh, MY!)

Whether it’s a breast lift (with or without implants), a rounder derriere, or more contoured curves, one thing’s for sure: We want them, and we’ll continue to get them in 2011.

Two of the most sought after surgeries in the industry for the past few years? Breast augmentation and liposuction. Yes, there’s no doubt that aging breasts will be restored in 2011 and those “difficult” areas will continue to be sucked and shaped with gusto. As an industry, we’re keeping an eye on all the alternative or complimentary liposuction techniques, such as those pointed out by the ASAPS:

“Liposuction,” they report, “will continue to be the gold-standard in fat reduction, [but]there will be continued interest in experimental techniques for non-invasive fat removal (freezing, zapping, lasering, etc.) as a future alternative or adjunct to liposuction.”

And nothing new, “Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez have made a shapely rear-end a must have accessory.” Will we see continued interest and demand in derriere development? YES. I’d wager we will.

Who would I send my mother to?

Breasts: Mike Kluska, MD (Pennsylvania)Walter Tom, MD (California)

Buttocks: Efrain Gonzalez, MD (California)

Liposuction: Thomas Su, MD (Florida)

5. Follicles & The Future

Finally. Last year we began to hear more attention given to women and hair loss. In 2011, we can expect even more, especially with growing hair restoration technologies in the aesthetic field.

And while the past couple of years have been all about eyelash growth products, I believe the chatter will extend to eyebrow growth in 2011.

Yes, eyebrows.

Turns out eyelash lengthener Latisse also grows back those over-groomed brows. Who knew?!

Who would I send my mother to?

Hair: Alan Baumann, MD (Florida)

Lashes & Brows: Heidi Waldorf, MD (New York)

6. The Beauty “Lifestyle”

Beyond the specific procedural trends for the coming year, we can expect to see a surging interest in incorporating anti-aging medicine into our aesthetic pursuits. Even plastic surgeons are beginning to tout and offer advice and/or services on fitness, nutrition and hormone therapy.

As aptly pointed out by writer Barbara Hannah Grufferman in her recent article, “After 50: Plastic Surgery on Your Mind? Before You Do That, Do This,” in The Huffington Post, she advises those of us interested in undergoing a procedure to look younger, to first:

  • Stop sunbathing; use sunscreen
  • Stop smoking,
  • Start a good skin care program
  • Be at your appropriate weight
  • Start an exercise program, including aerobic and weight-resistant exercise
  • Commit to proper nutrition

I’m going to add another “to-do”: Get your hormone levels balanced. There are two general categories in the realm of anti-aging medicine: (1) What you can do in terms of lifestyle: exercise, eat right, get enough sleep and keep stress levels low, and (2) Balance and/or restore your natural hormone levels.

Taking control of all these factors will put you on the track to both internal and external youthful and longevity. After you feel good, you’ll see yourself in a new light and be able to make the best procedural choices.

Who would I send my mother to?

Sangeeta Pati, MD (Florida)

Andre Berger, MD (California)

From the Editor’s Desk…



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