The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) are reporting that plastic surgeries are on the rise with a 3 percent rise for cosmetic procedures, and a 2 percent rise for reconstructive procedures over the last year. According to UT Southwestern plastic surgeons, the increase interest may be in part by patients’ growing awareness of options and new techniques.
As there are a number of reconstruction procedures, breast reconstruction was up 4 percent with silicone implants accounting for 72 percent of all breast augmentations performed in the past year and saline implants used in 28 percent of cases.
According to Dr. Rod Rohrich, Chair of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, “I think women in particular are educating themselves more and becoming more interested in learning about their options for breast reconstruction, along with growing awareness of studies showing breast reconstruction improves quality of life. To see that a rise in breast reconstructive surgeries is an important indicator that educational outreach efforts are having an effect.”
There are newly approved plastic surgery devices and products, including form-stable silicone gel breast implants and a hyaluronic acid facial filler designed to treat mid-face volume that the FDA has approved in 2013. This may help understand the rise in those particular procedures. Use of soft tissue fillers has been on the rise by 13 percent. Botulinum toxin type A injections have always been popular along with chemical peels, and have risen by 3 percent. As far as the cosmetic side of the issue is concerned, face-lists, forehead lifts, neck lifts, and eyelid surgeries are also on the rise.
Rohrich notes, “The needle leads the knife in staying young, as one of the biggest increases again this year is the rise in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. With the continued strong interest, we continue to emphasize the importance of finding a certified plastic surgeon, so patients who are investing in their appearance get the best outcomes and don’t walk way frustrated from what should be a celebration.”
Rohrich’s background extends to safety and effectiveness of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This includes research on how the face ages and pioneering research to map facial fat that may help surgeons identify where fillers can be most useful. He notes that, “Fat grafting also has helped fuel a surge in the area of buttock augmentation. This procedure was almost unheard of in mainstream plastic surgery just 10 years ago, but it has seen a significant percentage increase – 16 percent – over the previous year.”
One needs to consider that hand surgeries are also on the rise basically 6 percent according to ASPS statistics. All due to advances in technologies such as endoscopic methods and minimal access surgeries, computer-assisted 3-D surgery and innovative microsurgical techniques have made hand surgeries less invasive.
Dr. Douglas Sammer, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Chief of the UT Southwestern Plastic Surgery Hand Program note, We can now effectively treat more hand injuries and conditions with small incisions, cameras, and medications rather than with large-scale operations. In fact, many types of hand and peripheral nerve disorders don’t require surgery to resolve. Treatments include options that take less than an hour to perform, while providing immediate relief and improving function.” Consider, individuals with Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a thickening of tissue under the skin that causes fingers to contract, may be able to try the biologic drug Xiaflex. This is the first nonsurgical procedure approved by the FDA for treatment of this condition.
As Sammer points out, one must consider the newest treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome that requires only a very small incision. The procedure involves a camera that is inserted into the carpal tunnel. The nerve is them decompressed. The availability of this procedure has minimized discomfort and reduced recovery time. Sammer is now considering a possible connection between carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches.
Sammer is continuing his research to reattach fingers using advanced microscopic and microsurgery techniques. And, Dr. Tae Chong, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Director of the Reconstructive Transplant Program in Plastic Surgery, is establishing the first hand transplant center in North Texas. A number of advanced techniques will have to be used including microsurgical techniques, hand and peripheral nerve specialists who can reconstruct arteries, veins, or nerves, restore blood flow and transplant tissue within the body, such as a toe-to-thumb transplant.
Sammer suggests how important it is to select a surgeon who specializes in hand and peripheral nerve surgeries to not only provide you with a full range of options as well as provide for the best procedure for you.