As 2014 gets into full swing, some of us are thinking about what the year may bring. Plastic surgeons in Naples and around the country keep their eyes open at this time of year, when many patients resolve to better their bodies and their confidence, for new and innovative treatment options that may improve their practices. Some of the up-and-coming advancements I’m keeping my eye on include the following:
Developments with fat: The non-surgical body contouring industry has seen major changes in the past few years, with the arrival on the scene of non-invasive procedures such as CoolSculpting®, Vanquish™, Venus Freeze, and various cellulite treatments that use targeted cooling, radiofrequency energy, and other technologies to reduce fat without surgery. I expect to see more amazing innovations in this field in the future, as I do with treatments on the other end of the spectrum: fat grafting. The process of using a patient’s own unwanted fat has seen a major boon lately as researchers have found ways to make the fat useful in the face, breasts, and elsewhere. Techniques will continue to improve this year.
Pain and recovery management: Recent innovations with products such as EXPAREL®, a local anesthetic for postoperative pain, and XARELTO®, which prevents blood clots after surgery, are very impressive and indicate that more exciting things will soon come to help make patients more comfortable during and after surgery.
Non-surgical face treatments: In 2013, BOTOX® Cosmetic was approved for a new use (crow’s feet), and a new dermal filler for cheeks arrived on the scene in JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™ XC. What will 2014 bring in the realm of injectables or other non-invasive treatments? Patients, who have been choosing such procedures more over surgery, can’t wait to find out.
New operating techniques: Developments continue to arise in short-scar incisions that make surgical recovery faster and easier. We may see more technology in the operating room, as well. In 2013, the first plastic surgery procedure employing Google Glass was performed as a surgeon reviewed patient X-rays and MRI scans during a rhinoplasty procedure. I expect more innovative uses for that technology to appear soon.