Cosmetic Surgery Trends 2008 : The Future Outlook


Valerie DeBenedette, Senior Medical Editor

Valerie DeBenedette is a science writer who specializes in keeping people informed about medicine and their health. She has more than 20 years of experience writing for newspapers, magazines, and websites and has written about most areas of medicine. For many years, she was a contributing writer to Cosmetic Dermatology and to Drug Topics, the leading pharmacy trade magazine. She also was a contributing editor to The Physician and Sportsmedicine for many years. She has written about most fields of medicine, including dermatology, sportsmedicine, ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedics, and women's health; as well as public health policy and the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, she is the author of Caffeine, a book for young people. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

April 08 2008

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Each year new cosmetic procedures are popularized – by celebrities and by everyday people. Looking your best is something that never goes out of style, and the search for the Fountain of Youth continues. Below we highlight some of the top plastic surgery trends you can expect in 2008.

Breast Augmentation – This procedure has been popular for quite some time, but with the reintroduction of silicone implants and upcoming options like highly cohesive gel implants and gummy bear implants, breast augmentation keeps gaining in popularity. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast augmentation was the #1 surgical cosmetic procedure of 2006 with 329,326 procedures performed, up 55% from 2000.

Injectables and Noninvasive TreatmentsBotox® Cosmetic and fillers such as Restylane®, Juvederm™ and their cousins will continue to become more widely used. Not only do these noninvasive procedures help return skin to its youthful look, but the procedures require pretty much no down time or recovery time. They can help with laugh lines and smile lines, and the results can last for many months – definitely giving people something to smile about.

Mommy Makeovers  - More and more women have been opting for multiple procedures (or mommy makeovers) to return their bodies to their prepregnancy shape – or to improve upon it after they've had their children. Popular mommy makeover combos include a breast lift and/or augmentation, a tummy tuck and liposuction. There is a growing plastic surgery trend that involves women getting back to their active lifestyles and prebaby bodies – and feeling like a million bucks.

Laser Hair Removal – Whether a person wants to be free of a few stray hairs or stop shaving their underarms for good, laser hair removal may be the answer. This procedure has been gaining in popularity as a permanent way to eliminate unwanted hair for the last several years – and it's particularly beneficial around bathing suit season! From 2000 to 2006, the number of people opting for laser hair removal increased by 21%, and it was the third most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure of 2006, according to the ASPS.

Beyond the Latest Trends: Looking Farther Ahead

Laser Technologies – New technologies, including non- and minimally invasive ultrasonic lasers, acoustic pulse treatments, and light therapies promise to melt fat and cellulite fast and efficiently, with little bruising or swelling and minimal down time. However, these treatments such as Lipodissolve, Smartlipo™, LipoSonix® and Liporeductyl® are not necessarily ready for the mainstream. While there are some promising possibilities from this new breed of fat-dissolving products, there's no substantiated proof that they work – and the FDA hasn't approved them. At least one FDA-approved study is underway, so stay tuned for more information on these minimally invasive treatments. As of now, however, liposuction is the only proven, effective and safe way to eliminate fat.

Who Is Having Plastic Surgery?

While there are definitely some trends in terms of the types of plastic surgery people are drawn to, there are also certain trends happening concerning who is having plastic surgery.

Men are becoming more comfortable stepping into their doctors' offices, particularly for minimally invasive treatments. From 2000 to 2006 the number of men opting for Botox increased 202% and the number of men undergoing laser skin resurfacing increased 49% during the same time period, according to the ASPS.

Minorities, such as Hispanics and African-Americans, are other groups who have been embracing cosmetic procedures. In 2006, minorities accounted for 24% of cosmetic procedures, up from 19% three years earlier. The procedures minorities choose, however, often differ from those desired by Caucasians due to factors such as body type and skin pigmentation.

And in case you haven't guessed yet, the crew looking to enhance their appearance is getting younger. Yes, there is a growing cosmetic surgery trend among teenagers. Beyond breast implants, the most popular trends with teens are collagen and other fillers, microdermabrasion, Botox, and laser hair removal.