Predictions, Predictions… Experts Foretell the Top Plastic Surgery Trends for 2017


Each and every year, all the aesthetic associations blast their annual statistics to the media. Bloggers, magazines and TV talk show hosts just eat these numbers up. The stats, which are based on the year prior, tell us which procedures are trending, which ones are tanking, and sometimes provide a little cultural context as to why.

But, as we know, hindsight is 20/20. It’s the looking ahead that takes major chutzpah. Zwivel reached out to some of cosmetic surgery’s heaviest hitters who have just that. Here’s their take on what are sure to be the hottest headlines for 2017.

1. Plastic Surgery Booms!

According to a report from Persistence Market Research, North America and Europe will continue to dominates the global plastic surgery market due to population aging. However, the Asian market is also expected to show high growth rates over the next five years – most notably in China and India.

2. The Transgender Tipping Point

Caitlin Jenner captured our attention in 2016, spurring an increasing number of transgender men and women to transition openly. This heightened awareness will continue to stimulate the demand for FTM and MTF procedures in 2017.

“Growing experience with helping masculine faces look feminine has greatly increased our understanding of what it takes to help any woman look beautiful,” says Jeffrey Spiegel, MD, Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. “The old approach of applying one of just a few surgical procedures has proven to be incomplete as we now know many other subtle tweaks that can dramatically improve the attractiveness of a woman’s face.” Watch for an increase in this new approach.

3. Sweet Cheeks, Plump Pouts: The Year of the ‘Designer Fillers’

“Watch for 2017 to bring new fillers designed for specific areas of the face,” Dr. Spiegel says. Some are here already: Juvederm Voluma adds volume to the midface, while Juvederm Volbella and Restylane Lyft take aim at the lips.

“2017 will see the introduction of even more targeted products such as Restylane’s Refyne and Defyne (for smile and laugh lines),” Spiegel says. The Belotero line also comprises a host of site-specific family members. Many are already approved overseas and will likely find their way to our shores, giving cosmetic doctors an ever-expansive palette to rejuvenate and recontour the face without surgery.

Speaking of injectables,  there are already three approved neuromodulators on the market – Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin – but there are more in the pike. A new such treatment from Revance is rumored to last 7 to 8 months. “If this is reproduced in the just-starting multicenter studies, this could be a game changer for Revance and for the cosmetic field in general,” says Jeffrey S. Dover, MD, FRCPC, a Boston-based dermatologist and co-director of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Mass. “My belief is that patients will pay a premium for a neuromodulator that lasts 6 to 8 months over the traditional 4 months.”

4. Goodbye Pimples, Hello Dimples!

For the first time in years, the acne pipeline is full with several new treatments in late stage development. If or when these get approved, it could mean the end to pimples and acne as we know them. Dimples, however, are staged for a comeback.

“Selfies are commonplace and everyone wants to look cute, friendly, and sexy in their photographs,” says Dr. Spiegel. “If you don’t have dimples to accentuate your smile, you can get them quickly with a simple office procedure. Watch for surgical dimple creation to grow in the New Year,” he predicts. The scarless procedure is known as a dimplectomy, and involves an incision inside the cheek.

5. Smooth Is the New Plump

“Overly plump cheeks and Kylie Jenner lips are so 2016,” says Anthony Youn, MD, chief surgeon at Youn Plastic Surgery in Troy, Mich. “With the new US Food and Drug Administration-approved fillers like Juvederm Volbella and the new Restylane, dermatologists and plastic surgeons will be injecting more and more vials than ever before. The focus of these new fillers isn’t to pump things up, but instead to smooth things out. We will see more naturally smoother, wrinkle-free faces than we did in 2016.”

6. Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Risky Business?

Brazilian butt lifts – fat injections that add volume to the butt – originated in Brazil, and rose to US fame with the likes of such booty-full celebs as Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. These enhanced derrieres were, by all accounts, the must-have accessory of 2016. There was a 280% increase in Brazilian butt lifts from 2011 to 2015, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Recent reports of women dying or getting hurt while undergoing these procedures have dampened enthusiasm, encouraging safety advocates to take notice and action. Stay tuned for a bombshell report from The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation in early 2017 on the safety (or the lack thereof) of fat grafting to the butt.

Whatever the verdict in the new report, the onus will be on cosmetic surgeons to identify techniques that may improve the safety of this procedure. “The cosmetic effects seen with butt augmentation will still be desired, and that may spur an increase in buttock augmentation,” predicts Mark Mofid, MD, a plastic surgeon in La Jolla, Calif.

7. Study Defines True Breast Implant Cancer Risk

The Patient Registry and Outcomes for Breast Implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) Etiology and Epidemiology (PROFILE) is seeking to get a handle on the risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

The cancer is linked to bacteria-contaminated breast implants, and a recent report out of Australia and New Zealand suggests that the risk is higher than previously thought. The jury isn’t in yet, but “ALCL may be the hottest story in 2017,” says Marina del Rey, Calif. plastic surgeon Grant Stevens, MD. “Hopefully real science will prevail.” Stay tuned.

8. Meet the Female Viagra

“The next frontier of cosmetic treatments is vaginal rejuvenation,” says David Shafer, MD, a New York City plastic surgeon. “Up until now we have had labiaplasty – a surgical procedure to reduce any extra skin, but with new treatments, we have the power of fractionated CO2 laser to tighten, improve sensitivity, improve lubrication, and even improve urinary incontinence.”

Some urologists are reporting a significant drop in prescriptions for drugs that target overactive bladders due to the success of these therapies. Dr. Stevens is bullish on one in particular. “Viveve vaginal tightening involves only one short treatment with no downtime for long-term vaginal tightening and increased lubrication,” he says. “It’s the female Viagra for 2017.”

9. PRP Injections Pick Up Traction

The list of possible uses for platelet-rich plasma continues to grow as cosmetic doctors use it for hair restoration, facial recontouring, lip enhancement and vaginal rejuvenation, to name a few. Expect this procedure to surge in popularity in coming years, but “we are waiting for some compelling data to support the marketing claims,” cautions Dr. Dover.

Blood (also known as plasma) contains platelets that are rich in growth factors. To create PRP, platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood.

10. Bigger Breast Implants Make a Big Comeback

Word on the street has been that bigger is no longer better when it comes to breast augmentation with implants. It seems that women are requesting smaller, perkier and more athletic looking breasts, but the tabloids are abuzz with rumors that Kylie Jenner has upped her ante (look what she did for lip enhancement in 2016). Like her or not, the Kardashian family has a profound effect on pop culture and plastic surgery, and that won’t change anytime soon.

11. Kybella Picks Up Steam, New Indications

When Allergan rolled out Kybella for double chins, many industry insiders knew this was just the tip of the iceberg. These fat-melting injections may also have a role in treating other stubborn pockets of fat – including above-the-knee-fat, bra-line back rolls and more.

Lipomas (noncancerous lumps that form due to an overgrowth of fat cells) will be on the list for sure, Dr. Stevens says. Also promising is a topical treatment for localized fat treatment (read: no needles or lights or lasers). “The Topokine latanoprost topical agent acquired by Allergan is the real deal,” says Dr. Dover. “Phase three studies and pivotal trials will be necessary to achieve approval, but if they confirm the results of early studies, this will be a first-in-class topical agent that can reduce localized fat.”

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