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Understand the trends, better serve patients

Approximately two-thirds of all cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. are now minimally invasive, according to the latest statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

“Specifically, nonsurgical fat reduction saw a huge increase of almost 25% from 2016 to 2017,” says Norman Rowe, M.D., owner of Rowe Plastic Surgery in New York City.

In total, there were 17.5 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2017, representing a 2% increase over 2016.

Dr. Rowe is surprised that the top five cosmetic surgical procedures have remained essentially unchanged over the past five years: breast augmentation (up 3% from 2016 to 2017), liposuction (up 5%), nose reshaping (down 2%), eyelid surgery (roughly the same as 2016) and tummy tuck (up 2%).

“This tells me that we are giving patients what they want,” Dr. Rowe tells The Aesthetic Channel. “Also, other than eyelid surgery, all of these procedures are performed on the body, not the face, so perhaps patients are seeking other methods to rejuvenate their face, such as with noninvasive methods.”

The top five cosmetic minimally invasive procedures are botulinum toxin Type A (up 2%), soft tissue fillers (up 3%), chemical peel (up 1%), laser hair removal (down 2%) and microdermabrasion (down 4%).

Two other findings of the survey are an 11% spike in breast reduction surgeries in 2017, after a 4% decline in 2016, and the return of tummy tuck to the top five list of popular cosmetic surgical procedures.

The survey also notes that many body sculpting patients are choosing a variety of technologies to reduce fat cells, including ultrasound, radio frequency, infrared light, vacuum massage and injectable medication.

In addition, noninvasive fat reduction procedures to “freeze” away fat without surgery increased by 7%, whereas nonsurgical cellulite treatments with lasers to eliminate fat increased by 19% and has risen by 55% since 2000.

Dr. Rowe, a member of ASPS who submitted his own statistics as part of an overall effort to better understand trends to better serve patients, believes that nonsurgical options will continue to improve. “Patients will also continue to seek better and more cost-effective nonsurgical options for their antiaging treatments,” he says.

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