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Crystal Ball Time for Cosmetic Surgery
Lois W. Stern  

The editors of Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery predict that less will be more in 2009 as consumers consider cosmetic enhancements. The reason for this shift takes little pondering. Our current economic recession is already forcing us to make lifestyle changes. Many consumers are going to select less costly procedures such as injectables (muscle relaxers and fillers) in place of more costly and more invasive surgeries. Competition for the provision of these services will grow, inducing some of those less skilled, inexperienced and even unqualified providers to cut prices in order to lure new patients. Buyer beware: Always consider qualifications, professional training and experience before price.  

The Consumer Guide suggests that fat freezing (or cryolipolysis) may give liposuction a run for its money in the near future. This technology works by freezing fat cells and in turn breaking them down. It's in clinical trials now, and results look promising. This is one On the Horizon technology that we should watch with interest. A second is a wrinkle relaxer cream - Botox in a new form that can be topically applied without needles. Third on their list is Latise, a topically applied drug for eyelash lengthening, approved by the FDA in December 2008 to promote longer, thicker and darker lashes.  

Let's continue with some breast enhancements. Next on their list are fat injections for breast augmentation . In 1982, the American Society for Plastic Surgery spoke against the use of fat injections for breast enhancement, but now they are reevaluating their prior stand. In 2008, a task force found that reshaping the breasts by injecting a woman's own fat works well for touch-ups after breast reconstruction, but it is not yet proven effective for cosmetic breast enhancement. Refinements to this technique are likely to continue in 2009.  

Cohesive gel breast implants, sometimes referred to as 'gummy-bear breast implants' are another innovation we are likely to hear more about in the future. Filled with cohesive silicone gel, these leak-resistant implants are used in Europe and Brazil and are being studied in the United States. Gummy bear implants have all the positive attributes of silicone gel, without the potential for gel migration in the event that the shell should weaken.

Lipodissolve is an experimental "fat-melting" technology that is being described as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. Also called mesotherapy, lipodissolve involves a series of medicated injections that may melt away unwanted small, localized areas of fat. To test these claims further, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has begun a scientific study of mesotherapy using standardized ingredients, to examine its safety and effectiveness in a controlled setting. Some results may be available in 2009.

This is just a sampling of cutting edge beauty enhancements for today with a few prediction for tomorrow. If you are curious and can't wait to learn more, be one of the first to read my newest book, Tick Tock, Stop the Clock: Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour.

Also the author of Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery: Things You'll Never Learn From Your Plastic Surgeon  


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Felicia Wynne wrote Feb 17, 2009
    • Hi,

      I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions regarding insurance covering lower eyelid surgery. I researched the procedure, and had a consultation, just trying to find out how insurance will pick up some of the cost.  My eyes constantly tear for no reason, and it is very annoying, but not sure if that will aid in insurance paying.

      Any suggestions are welcome.  Thanks for your time and help.

      Felicia :)

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