The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) yesterday released their annual survey results for 2018. The world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery, the AAFPRS represents more than 2,500 board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. Their annual survey of their database reveals key plastic surgery and medical aesthetic trends for the year gone by – and in turn, the year ahead.
For many of our readers, it may simply be confirming what we already know to be true and current – a helpful summary of what the collective areas of interest are around the world. For others, it may give you some new business areas to focus your efforts on over the coming year. So what were the reoccurring themes this time around?
Ageing gracefully through early prevention
The increased demand for cosmetic injectables last year, it seems (as we suspected) is being driven by millennials, who are currently 22-37 year old. The number of procedures has, on average, almost doubled since 2013, and a substantial 22% increase in anti-wrinkle injections over the same period. Members also noted a larger emphasis placed on early care and preventative treatments to those in their 20s and 30s. Indeed, 72% of surgeons noticed an increase in patients receiving cosmetic surgery or injectables under the age of age 30.
AAFPRS President Phillip R. Langsdon says that this suggest consumers are being more conscious of ageing gracefully, taking early measures in order to achieve sustainable results instead of drastic measures later down the track.
“This points to the larger “pre-juvenation” trend with more and more patients wanting to remain youthful rather than turn back the clock on signs of aging later,” says Dr. Langsdon. “Our younger patients are controlling the aging process and taking prevention seriously.”
Natural is key
“The modern goal for facial plastic surgery is refreshingly natural,” says Dr. Langsdon, and although 97% of members feel celebrities influence their plastic surgery recipients, we are finally shifting away from over-enhanced looks and ‘Kylie pouts’. Along with injectables, lasers, peels and microneedling, treatments that combine two or three of these non-invasive options in one visit are in high demand. “Patients love combination treatments because they are time-effective and help to produce optimal results for everything from facial rejuvenation to scar reduction when used in tandem,” says Dr. Langsdon.
Non-invasive procedures are absolutely leading the way, with an entire four-fifths of the treatments performed by participating AAFPRS members being non-surgical. The most popular procedure performed overall was anti-wrinkle injections, followed by filler. “Injectables are only increasing in popularity and this is because of the subtle, yet noticeable visual result they deliver for a relatively affordable price tag as compared to surgical options,” says Dr. Langsdon. “Neuromodulators and fillers have little to no downtime, so they are an easy, unintimidating gateway for patients into the cosmetic surgery world.”
Of surgical procedures performed, rhinoplasty remained most popular, followed by revision surgery and eye lifts.
Revisions are growing
Revision surgery and corrective procedure numbers went through the roof, with the average number nearly doubling since 2017. Around a third of surgeons attribute this to growing numbers of improperly-trained practitioners.
“Shows like Botched, with our very own Dr. Paul Nassif, reveal the dangers of cutting corners with non-certified, un-qualified practitioners,” says Dr. Langsdon. “The AAFPRS urges consumers to avoid poor outcomes by doing their homework first. Your face and skin are not the place to cut corners with discount deals. This year’s survey indicated that cost is only a top concern for 10 percent of patients.”
“There are numerous resources to educate consumers before booking an appointment. Research providers and treatment information via trusted online sources like www.aafprs.org, review before/after images and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions about background and credentials during your consultation.”
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