Both cosmetic surgery and cosmetic therapies (less invasive methods) are becoming increasingly popular, cheaper and safer.
In 2005 more than 10.2 million cosmetic-surgery procedures were performed in the U.S. As procedures get the techno touch, more and more patients could be drawn to quick treatments.
With all these quicker and safer treatements, "you can get a little work done along the way, and doing it in small doses is less daunting. At this point, many procedures like Botox are kind of like changing your hair color. You pop out at lunch, have something done, and you're back at work in the afternoon."
- The most common cosmetic surgery on men is removal of excess breast tissue
- The most common cosmetic surgery on children is correction of a cleft lip
The largest trend is toward laser-based and light-based therapies that do a controlled burn on the skin, eliminating fine lines, sunspots, acne scars, and other blemishes. For example, Fraxel, a laser treatment, can be applied to small areas of the face and neck, leaving surrounding tissue intact. Another procedure, Thermage, uses radio-frequency technology to tighten skin and change contours.
Biotech is making a mark in the aesthetic arena as well, with the introduction of live-stem-cell skin therapy. Obtained from bovine amniotic fluid, the cells assist in hydrating skin that has been exfoliated by other procedures.
For deeper wrinkles, a surface-area burn or treatment won't work. One non-invasive option will likely be Radiesse, a filler that forms a scaffold on which the body's collagen can grow.
Liposuction continues to be the most popular way to contour the body, with over 300,000 procedures done in 2005. A promising new strategy is the non-surgical use of chemicals that melt fat so it can be reabsorbed into the body. potential for a high-intensity ultrasound session that can liquefy fat without damaging skin or veins. Someday "people /will be able to/ just step into a unit and have that modification without needing surgery."
Tooth implants, in particular, have advanced over the last 15 years Nobel Biocare has developed implants with a special titanium oxide coating that promotes bone growth. Rather than just being drilled into the bone, the coating actually fuses with it, since it contains millions of tiny pores that are eventually filled by bone fibers. After a short time, the artificial root actually becomes part of the body.
3-D imaging gives patients a sneak preview of the results of their procedures It creates a representation of a patient that can be rotated and seen from different angles. "There are an infinite number of views that can show any changes"