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The future of Cosmetic Surgery

Some things in the future of plastic surgery are relatively easy to predict such as an increase in popularity of aesthetic surgery and, which procedures will set the pace. When we look at new technologies and advancements it’s more difficult to forecast what will become mainstream in the future. What is certain though, is that plastic surgery will continue to develop and be shaped as new advancements and innovations are introduced and accepted.

Continuous growth

Cosmetic surgery trends indicate that the demand for plastic surgery will continue to grow as it becomes more advanced, less invasive and more affordable. New technologies and innovative techniques will be pioneered to improve the quality of procedures even further.

In today’s world, many people want to look and feel their best. Plastic surgery can help achieve this and delay the ageing process. In the future this desire to look young and attractive may become even more commonplace as people work and live longer.

There are some plastic surgeries that can be predicted to continue in their popularity. For example, the number of liposuction procedures being performed is growing in the UK and US. As obesity and overweight levels are increasing in these populations it’s reasonable to predict that liposuction will remain a top plastic surgery procedure for the foreseeable future.

Now and in the future it’s thought that the trend is for natural and incremental plastic surgery changes.

Non-surgical treatments have also become more popular over recent years and it’s expected for this to carry on. Patients will continue to combine these procedures and seek completely non-invasive options to manage their facial ageing and to provide them with the body features they desire.  

Stem cells

Stem cell technology is an exciting concept for plastic surgeons. Stem cells can be harvested to regenerate cells and tissues in the human body. In the future stem cell technologies may be combined with tissue engineering to grow new body parts as required. These structures such as skin and ears will be grown in the laboratory and implanted to restore form and function.

Stem cells could also potentially be re-injected into areas as a filler that is more compatible and longer lasting than current fillers.

Areas where research is currently being undertaken include:

  • burn care – generation of the dermal (innermost skin) layer following burn injury.
  • breast reconstruction – regeneration of new tissue layers over implants in breast cancer survivors.
  • nerve regeneration - regeneration of nerves and restoration of optimal function after nerve injury.
  • wound care – use of skin substitutes (composed of living cells grown in a laboratory) to heal wounds.
  • scar treatment to improve the healing of scars.
  • hand and face transplantation.

Fat grafting will gain in popularity

A patient’s extra fat tissue can be transferred and regenerated in other parts of their body. This revolutionary technique has been used in plastic surgery on the breasts, buttocks, face and hands. However, this is currently only an option for patients who have sufficient fat on other areas of the body.

Stem cells can become any type of tissue such as fat and it may become possible to grow significant amounts of the patient’s own fat in the laboratory that can then be transferred to their breasts, buttocks, or other areas. One day this could make implants a thing of the past.

Medical breakthroughs may slow down or stop the aging process

Treatments may be developed to modify: programmed cell death, the breakdown of collagen and other skin and soft-tissue changes that cause people to develop an aged appearance.

Fat reduction

There are already some radical new techniques for fat reduction that don’t require incisions. Current procedures and those in the pipeline include fat-freezing and fat-burning that will destroy fat cells and allow problem areas to be specifically targeted.

Bespoke treatments

In the last decade, the number of procedure types has increased. It’s expected that plastic surgery options will continue to expand allowing for more bespoke treatments.

There is increased knowledge about how individuals react differently to certain treatments or products. In the future, individual cosmetic treatments may be tailored by specific patient profiles to achieve the best possible results and it may be possible to determine if a patient will scar more than another patient.

The future of plastic surgery is certainly a fascinating and exciting area.