New York — With the advent of a new year, cosmetic surgeons consider possible changes in their field in 2006. The following 10 predictions are based on interviews conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
1. Physicians polled by ASAPS say silicone gel breast implants will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once approved, these devices, due largely to their more natural feel and appearance, will dominate the U.S. market. (Gel implants have dominated global markets for the past 15 years.)
2. Cosmetic surgery among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States is likely to continue increasing. (Current statistics report that minority populations account for 20 percent of all cosmetic procedures performed (ASAPS)).3. As more news stories are published about "discount injectables" bought offshore, patients will be able to avoid "too good to be true" discounts and make sure that their safety is protected by choosing a physician with appropriate training, credentials and judgment.
4. States are likely to abandon proposals to tax aesthetic surgery procedures as potential sources for revenue.
5. As the popularity of non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures continues to grow, surgeons and manufacturers will develop new techniques and products that advance the science, produce even better results and lessen recovery time.
6. Men will represent a growing segment of the aesthetic surgery market. (Fifty-nine percent of men approve of cosmetic surgery, and 21 percent would consider having cosmetic surgery, according to a February 2005 consumer survey commissioned by ASAPS. According to the same survey, 79 percent of American men surveyed said they would not be embarrassed if people in addition to their family and close friends knew they had undergone cosmetic surgery.)
7. Large-scale clinical studies are likely to be implemented to validate the safety and effectiveness of minimally-invasive treatments such as barbed sutures (the so-called lunch-hour facelift) and fat melting without surgery.
8. As educated consumers understand the safety and risk issues associated with surgical procedures, cosmetic surgery "vacations" will be researched and considered with more seriousness.
9. Following the trend in increased consumer sophistication regarding healthcare choices, board certification of practitioners and accreditation of surgical facilities will play an even more important role in choosing a cosmetic surgeon.
10. The growth and popularity of cosmetic fillers will dramatically increase as products continue to evolve and new players enter the market.
Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery