The New Trend is Cosmetic Non-Surgery and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Is Leading the Charge

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Orlando Florida Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Kenrick Spence, discusses new procedures, new recovery methods and a new generation of patients who are looking for non-surgical cosmetic treatments to keep them young, slim and beautiful.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, ASAPS, recently convened in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the state of plastic surgery today. We sat down with Dr. Kenrick Spence, Orlando Plastic Surgeon and a member of ASAPS, to find out about the highlights of the meeting; specifically as it pertains to no down time cosmetic surgery.

The average age of those Americans who spent 12.4 billion dollars last year on cosmetic procedures is between 35 and 50, according to Aesthetic News, the quarterly newsletter of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Spring 2006.

“These patients are in a competitive stage of life and wish to delay the signs of aging; however, younger patients are now seeking preventative measures to turn back the clock. As is evidenced by the increased usage of Botox.” The trend—“beauty knows no age”, says Dr. Spence.

“There are an ever-increasing number of fillers on the market. Age reversal in a syringe has become very popular,” explains Dr. Spence. “Restylane (Hyaluronic acid) has become very popular in my practice and across the country with its many expanded off label uses. There are other forms of hyaluronic acids such as Juvederm, pending FDA approval, which will broaden the use of hyaluronic acid even more.”

The ASAPS has worked hard at promoting its “culture of safety” for patient care. Part of the culture of safety promotion by plastic surgeons is proper patient education. “Off label” use includes uses in areas of the body not specifically approved by the FDA. This does not mean that the procedure is unsafe. The decision to perform such a procedure is based on informed consent by the patient and the physician’s clinical judgment.

“What was exciting about the meeting was that with the use of fillers we are now concentrating on not just eliminating lines but restoring youthful facial shape.” Dr. Spence continued, “A good portion of the meeting was dedicated to a deeper understanding of facial aging. Fillers are a great way to restore facial volume in areas such as the cheek, the tail of the eyebrow, and the hollows beneath the eyes. Fat injections, being the ultimate filler, are readily available and easily harvested.”

Mesotherapy was another hot topic with the members of the ASAPS. “Michael Pistor developed Mesotherapy in June 1952. He believed that injecting various chemicals into the skin could have effects on blood vessels and lymphatics. Recently this has been expanded to include vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, hormones, and enzymes reported to produce fat loss at the local injection site.” Dr. Spence cautions potential patients, “We do not yet know the long-term effects of Mesotherapy. This procedure is being widely performed in non-medical settings. The Centers for Disease Control reports it being performed in hotels, homes, and clinics according to Aesthetic News. There can be potential serious complications associated with this.

Dr. Spence offers a healthy alternative at his practice, which he refers to as “No down time liposuction.” When immediate massage therapy is added to liposuction procedures, some patients are actually able to return to work the next day. An appropriately credentialed surgeon familiar with all types of liposuction must perform this.

Laser technology is still going strong in the plastic surgery community even with new radio therapies like Fraxel and Thermage. “Though Fraxel and Thermage are gaining in popularity, their results seem to be variable. When members of the panel were asked about lasers many felt that Intense Pulsed Light results were quite effective with regards to improving pigmentation, fine veins, and skin texture. Intense Pulsed Light results are quite reproducible. It has very little down time with patients being able to return to work right away. Multiple treatments are sometimes necessary but they are quite affordable,” explains Dr. Spence.

Even with the prevalence of non-surgical procedures, plastic surgery is still a fundamental procedure for plastic surgeons. “For quite some time now I have been an advocate of short scar facelifts with restoration of facial volume, in other words putting things back where they belong instead of just cutting away skin. This concept is now brought home in the fact that we are doing more surgery through much shorter incisions, e.g. the minimal access short scar facelift (MACS), or temporal brow lift operations, through 3cm incisions. These smaller incisions are used for access to restore a youthful shape as opposed to removing large amounts of skin,” advocates Dr. Spence. “Contour threads are yet to produce the results of a facelift and significant work needs to be done but progress is still being made.”


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