Of the 17.5 million plastic surgery procedures that were performed last year in the U.S., a whopping 15.7 million or 89% were nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.
There are a few reasons why plastic surgery office procedures are so popular. They don’t require any anesthesia or recovery time, they’re quick, and they usually provide immediate results.
Here’s a look at the newest and most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures as well as ones on the horizon that are expected to become the next big plastic surgery trends.
Botulinum toxin injections, also known by its commercial name Botox, reigns as the top nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. The procedure softens lines and wrinkles by injecting purified botulinum bacterium into a muscle. This temporarily blocks the muscle’s nerve signals, allowing it to relax to ease the appearance of wrinkles.
Botox is a popular office procedure with both men and women and is used to minimize crow’s feet, smile lines, necklines, and forehead furrows. Any facial areas that show signs of aging can be treated with it.
Sometimes Botox is used with other noninvasive treatments including microdermabrasion, fillers, and more to maintain a youthful appearance.
Although the idea of receiving an injection containing deadly botulism bacteria into your skin sounds scary, the doses themselves are so small that they’re considered safe.
The shots themselves usually take only 15 minutes. Results are noticeable in a few days and can last up to four months.
CoolSculpting Fat Reduction
An alternative to more invasive liposuction, the nonsurgical fat reduction was developed when science discovered that fat cells could be reduced by extreme cold, infrared light, lasers, injected medicine, and other methods.
Of all of these, it’s freezing fat that is catching on. Known by the name brand CoolSculpting, this procedure safely applies cold to fat cells in problem areas. The cold break them down and they are absorbed by the body.
The treatment was inspired by a scientific study that discovered kids who regularly sucked on popsicles got dimples in their cheeks.
CoolSculpting will not harm the skin while a cold pack is applied to the area. Patients may feel a little numbness. Treatments last anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour, and results are usually immediately noticeable.
Soft Tissue or Dermal Fillers
If the idea of Botox isn’t for you, one popular alternative is soft tissue or dermal fillers. This procedure still requires an injection but inserts a sterile filling material into lines and wrinkles to literally plump them up.
The treatment can also be used to make lips look fuller and fill in areas of the face.
Depending on the material used, dermal fillers can last from six months to two years. These longer lasting results give them an advantage over Botox treatments.
Laser Skin Resurfacing and Hair Removal
There’s a wide variety of laser cosmetic procedures. The concentrated beams of light emitted give surgeons tight control over a very specific area. Laser skin resurfacing is being used to treat the following:
- Scars from acne or chicken pox
- Wrinkles and lines
- Sun damage
- Birthmarks and warts
Lasers work their magic on the inner layer of the skin. The beams penetrate and remove the outer layer, or epidermis, thus jump-starting collagen production in the dermis. As the skin heals, new skin cells form creating a smoother appearance.
New lasers are being developed that do not affect the outer layer of the skin. This company specializes in an innovative laser treatment which stimulates the dermis without removing epidermis skin cells.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is being used to prevent the growth of unwanted hair on the legs, face, underarm, and more. It is popular for removing hair that has to be continuously shaved or waxed. Men are also using the treatment to rid themselves of back, shoulder, and chest hair.
It can take several visits for the hair removal to be permanent. Some patients feel a pins and needles sensation or slight discomfort during the treatment. However, that’s a small price to pay to never have to shave, pluck or wax unwanted hair ever again.
And for those who are losing hair, lasers are actually being used to rejuvenate hair growth.
Up and Coming Nonsurgical Procedures
Up until now, there hasn’t been a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that addresses cellulite. That may be about to change with Cellfina. This is the world’s first FDA-approved cellulite procedure for women’s thighs and buttocks.
Cellfina uses a small needle-like device that helps break up the bands just under the skin’s surface. It’s these bands that create cellulite’s cottage cheese appearance. Once these bands are broken, the tension is released and the skin’s surface smooths out.
The procedure only takes an hour and amazingly, results can last up to three years.
Nonsurgical Vagina Rejuvenation
Yes, even a woman’s vagina can look younger with cosmetic procedures. Once a taboo subject, women in recent years are embracing whole body beauty. That includes caring about the appearance of their private area.
Vaginoplasty was originally developed to help girls whose vaginas were misshaped due to birth defects. Today plastic surgeons are adopting the procedure to help tighten up vagina walls that have become loosened from childbirth.
Labiaplasty, vaginoplasty’s sister treatment, is being used to create more symmetrical vaginal lips and improve their appearance.
Most of the procedures can be done with lasers and are actually quick and relatively painless.
Laser Breast Lift
The mighty medical laser has been put to another good use again. This time it is non-surgically lifting breasts. Doctors are comparing the effects to having an “internal bra” as the breast tissue is lifted and smoothed out during the two-hour procedure.
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
Whether you’re interested in any of these nonsurgical cosmetic procedures or a more involved treatment, make sure you seek out a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They should also have real before and after photos to show you as well as testimonials from satisfied patients.
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