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Plastic Surgeons Predict the Top Aesthetic Trends for 2022

Plastic Surgeons Predict the Top Aesthetic Trends for 2022 featured image
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The holidays are over, the new year is here and the reentry process into what somewhat resembles a normal schedule is back in full swing. So, the million-dollar question: What’s next? These plastic surgeons share their best aesthetic predictions.

Breast Augmentation, Revised

On the surgical side, Nashville plastic surgeon Daniel Hatef, MD thinks that we will continue to see an uptick in breast implant exchanges and removals. “Between the greater awareness of Breast Implant Illness and the fact that so many women now have breast implants, the need for revisionary aesthetic breast surgery will remain high.” Reno, NV plastic surgeon Tiffany D. McCormack, MD  says her number-one assumption for the year is in line: “If I had to say one thing [that I think will be big], it is probably more explants.”

Matters of Maintenance

In regards to the above, Eugene, OR plastic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD is quick to point out a pretty outstanding stat: “There are more women in the U.S. with breast implants than the entire population of the state of Connecticut, according to the statistics from the Aesthetic Society,” he says. “Statistics also indicate a 92-percent satisfaction rate at 10 years in breast augmentation patients, but most women with breast implants opt for ‘maintenance surgery’ to maintain their outcomes over implant removal; I think we’ll see more of that this year.”

Exchange Rate

Encino, CA plastic surgeon George Sanders, MD is also seeing women make “maintenance moves,” but with a slight twist: “Many women who have undergone breast augmentation surgery in the past are opting for an exchange for smaller implants or no implants. Less strain on the musculoskeletal system, avoiding the top-heavy look, better fit in clothing, enhanced ability to move and exercise are some of the reasons given. These women will often include an uplift with their procedure to take care of the stretched-out skin.”

More, More, More

Another exceptional number: According to Aesthetic Neural Network data pulled from January to July of 2021, Americans spent more than $8.7 billion on aesthetic plastic surgery, which La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD points out is up from the $6 billion spent in 2020. “It’s safe to say we can anticipate further growth in 2022.”

Combo Procedures Climb

Dr. Singer also says he’s certain we’ll see more “combination procedures”—i.e., when patients have several surgeries done at one time—being performed this year. “When done appropriately, it minimizes anesthesia and downtime,” he points out.

Body Contouring Gets Even Bigger

On the nonsurgical side, Dr. Hatef predicts that the popularity of noninvasive body contouring is going to continue accelerating. “CoolSculpting really made this market, but other device companies are stepping in with not only fat reduction, but also muscle-toning and skin/soft-tissue tightening. Although CoolSculpting has gotten a bad rap for Paradoxical Adipose Hypertrophy, they have improved their devices and training, and I think that this will become a rarer phenomenon.”

Zoom Still Goes Boom

While he used to mainly credit selfies to an increased interest in all things face-neck-eyes, Dr. Singer thinks it’s safe to say Zoom has taken the number-one spot for offering some in-your-face critique—and it doesn’t seen like the virtual meeting medium is going away in the new year. “We’re going to continue to see more people coming in for eyelid surgery, necklifts and to get their noses done because of what they see on Zoom.”

The Facelift Patient Gets Younger

You heard it here first: This past summer was the season of “40-somethings getting facelifts,” and it seems the younger demo is just getting started. “The age of patients requesting facial rejuvenation has definitely shifted in my practice,” says Salt Lake City facial plastic surgeon P. Daniel Ward, MD. “The proportion of patients that I see are now, on average, younger than they were ten years ago—some in their 30s or 40s. They want to address the self-consciousness they feel because of their thick neck or lack of jawline definition.”

Prevention Keeps Pacing

Dr. Singer says the same “younger theme” will be seen with neuromodulators: “The younger patients see their peers are doing it; it avoids the progression of lines when you start earlier,” while New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD adds that he thinks the “age prevention” theme will keep on growing. “Age prevention is a very big trend that, in my opinion, is going to be even bigger in 2022. More and more patients are looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and try to halt the facial aging process before it gets out of hand. A younger generation of patients is starting to use Botox at least a decade earlier than their parents. They do fillers at the slightest suggestion of a new wrinkle and have zero tolerance for sagging. A facelift at 35 is not just accepted, but is becoming a norm. With the improvement of surgical techniques and the advent of new technologies this trend would only be expected to grow.”

The Lip Is Hip

Dr. Singer also says we’ll see more of an emphasis on lips—but he thinks the trend will sway to be more natural than what we’ve seen on social media in recent years. “Fillers, fat transfer and even lip-shortening can all create a more youthful and natural-looking appearance.”

A New Kind of Weight-Loss

While he is quick to admit this one involves some out-of-the-box thinking, Westborough, MA facial plastic surgeon Min S. Ahn, MD thinks we’ll see a little more of what he calls a novel idea: “Sometimes patients are seeking a face/necklift or non-surgical tightening procedure, but their BMI makes them not an ideal candidate. Weight loss is often recommended before surgery—but is variably successful at best. A novel approach would be to have the patient complete a six-to-eight week treatment of prescription weight loss medication, such as with the GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide (Wegovy/Ozempic). Through various mechanisms, the GLP-1 receptor agonist will induce approximately 15-percent body weight loss. This will ideally cause the deep and superficial neck fat to thin, so that the ensuing tightening procedure (whether surgical or non-surgical) will have a better chance of significant improvement.”

A Surge in Safety

Like with pretty much every aspect of life, the field of aesthetics pivoted during the pandemic and, for providers and patients alike, safety has never been more key. “It’s now more important than ever before to go to a board-certified surgeon who is following proper safety guidelines in an accredited facility,” Dr. Singer stresses. “In regards to COVID, necessary safety precautions are absolutely essential for both patients and the staff.”

Location, Location, Location

Dover, OH, facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD says that, without question, the biggest trend he thinks we’ll see is where the actual aesthetic procedures are performed in 2022. “We’ve been performing our surgical cases away from hospital operating rooms and ambulatory surgery center operating rooms—now doing all of our cases ‘in-office,’ as ‘comfortably-awake’ procedures. Once again, across our nation, restrictions on access to operating rooms for surgical cases have tightened way up due to COVID-19, making it impossible to schedule elective surgical cases in settings outside of our office in our state/community. Fortunately, the option of performing surgical cases comfortably awake in-office provides outstanding advantages for our aesthetic clients—including better value, greater safety, increased privacy, and unparalleled convenience.”

Trends, With a Twist

While he backs innovation, New York plastic surgeon Daniel Y. Maman, MD says he hopes this is the year we focus less on “trends” and more on tried-and-true methods. “I’m not a believer in trends when it comes to permanently altering your body. Natural results that adhere to normal body proportionality always look best in the long run.”

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