What are the most popular cosmetic treatments today?
There are surgical and non-surgical treatments. This article concentrates on the surgical.
Breast augmentation (enlargement) is the most popular surgical procedure today.
Breast augmentation patients fall into 3 groups:
1. Young women 18 to 25 years old who have not yet had children but still want breasts that match the rest of their youthful, active body
2. 30 to 40 year olds who have had children and want to restore their breasts to their pre child bearing state, with youthful shape and sometimes increased volume. Some of this group need to have a breast lift as well as an enlargement because their breasts have deflated and dropped.
3. Women of any age who have uneven breasts or abmormal shaped breasts (e.g. tubular breasts) wanting symmetry and a natural shape. This is reconstruction to normality rather than simply augmentation.
Surgical facial rejuvenation is very popular to rejuvenate the face when non-surgical treatments do not achieve the desired result. These operations may be a lateral brow lift (a natural youthful repositioning of the eyebrows and smoothing of the forehead), upper and lower blepharoplasties (to smooth and debag the eyelids), a mid face lift to raise the cheeks) and removal of excess skin under the chin.
Patients in their 40s often ask for a breast augmentation and facelift to be carried out at the same time. This gives a tremendous psychological uplift.
The modern facelift not only lifts tissue but also restores volume. The younger shape of the face is restored by repositioning the deeper tissue (SMAS) to a higher level. The wow factor is achieved when your own fat is injected to add additional volume. Fat injecting is so successful at turning back the clock that it is often done in younger patients not requiring a facelift. This is facelifting for beauty not just for rejuvenation. Therefore the modern facelift enhances and creates beauty.
Non surgical treatments such as injecting Hyaluronic acid (H.As) can also restore some volume and lift to the face but only temporally. Botox is being used more creatively to improve the shape as well as reducing dynamic wrinkles and this is often given at the same time as a facelift.
We are now seeing abdomnoplasty associated with liposuction, being promoted as body sculpturing, for a narrower waist and hips through to the back. This can include circumference body lifts after weight has been lost. Again this is popular in women who have had babies.
Where does the future lie in the world of cosmetic enhancement?
1. Platlet Rich Plasma stem cell rejuvenation is a new trend. The aim is to plump up the face and smooth out wrinkles by injecting stem cells which are derived from your own fat. At present there is no evidence that this is any better than fat injecting.
2. Stopping the skin from ageing and from decreasing in quality. This is achieved with better and better medical grade skin care products, supervised by a professional.
3. Breast implants are continually being improved, are lasting longer, are softer and more natural looking. More shapes are available to meet more sophisticated requirements. Polyurethane covered implants which always used to give softer results are now available again having been approved by the FDA. There is a constant search for even better implants.
4. To look at the whole, not just in parts. E.g. facelifts to fit the age of the patient to look even more natural.
5. More use of non-surgical treatments including an increasing variety of fillers (e.g. to plump out cheeks not just fill lines), permanent fillers which I don’t use as they can cause permanent damage and abnormalities, plus an ever increasing array of new lasers which promise to improve skin tightening and resurfacing.
What treatments have you been most excited about in the last few years?
Reshaping and rejuvenating the face with fat implants at the time of facelift surgery.
More refined use of botox to help reshape the face as well as reduce wrinkles.
The ability to quickly assess what changes a patient needs to achieve their desires and to have a smorgass board of treatments, surgical and non-surgical, from which to choose the most appropriate for that patient. It’s then a case of talking to the patients and finding what can be achieved within their budget.
This is precise surgery. Make sure you are with a qualified plastic surgeon for any sugery to do with the face. They need to have the right eye, training, experience and qualifications. Plastic surgeons have ‘FRACS (plastics)’ after their name and their qulafications can be checked with the medical council (phone 0800 286 801).
What emerging trends will we see with cosmetic enhancement in the near future?
Is there an art to creating a more youthful appearance?
Yes. You need to have a trained aesthetic eye, be highly experienced and proven in creating successful outcomes for every day people.
You need to be able to study the face and understand symmetry, balance and be highly experienced. You need to be able to visualise an excellent result and then have the craftsmanship to achieve it.