4 Critical Advancements in Modern Plastic Surgery

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), cosmetic procedures are on the rise. While there are surely a number of different contributing factors lurking behind those numbers, there are four specific advancements in surgical technique and medical technology that have likely had a major impact.

1. Improved Doctor-Patient Communication
Smartphones and computers have truly changed the way we interact with each other, and that includes the way that surgeons and patients can communicate. From app-based plastic surgery tools to consultations via Skype and even computer imaging software that offers patients a sneak peek at their final results, there's almost no end to how technology is changing the face of patient-doctor communication.

Indirectly, having incredible online resources like RealSelf has made it that much easier for patients to take charge of their own cosmetic goals by researching extensively before committing to plastic surgery. This means a more prepared and educated patient who can more easily communicate with his or her surgeon, which translates to a lower-stress procedure and recovery.

2. Endoscopy
An endoscope is a tubular probe fitted with a tiny camera and bright light that lets the surgeon observe the patient's internal structures on a viewing screen while navigating the endoscope through the treatment area. Additional surgical instruments are inserted through another small incision to perform the procedure.

Endoscopes have been used in surgery for decades, especially in orthopedics, urology, and gynecology. When used in the cosmetic surgery field, endoscopic technology enables plastic surgeons to perform cosmetic procedures less invasively using smaller incisions, leading to less noticeable scars and a shorter recovery time.

3. The Keller Funnel™
The Keller Funnel™ is a medical device that consists of a nylon cone with an internal hydrophilic coating. The surface becomes slippery with the help of a sterile solution, which helps facilitate movement of a pre-filled breast implant through the funnel into the breast pocket during augmentation.

Using the Keller Funnel™ during breast augmentation can reduce the potential for contamination of the breast pocket, while at the same time limiting force on the implant and allowing for a smaller incision size. The Keller Funnel™ works with all types of silicone breast implants, and may help lower the risk of capsular contracture.

4. Med Spa Treatments
Perhaps the most noticeable jump in number of procedures performed comes with non-surgical med spa treatments. Medical spas combine cosmetic procedures with traditional spa and dermatological options for a comprehensive approach to looking younger without surgery or a significant recovery time. Treatments offered include non-surgical facial and body contouring, Botox injections, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, anti-aging skincare, and more.

As med spa treatments become more readily available, their popularity has surged almost exponentially. Botox injections alone have seen a boost of over 700% since 2000, according to statistics from the ASPS, and other med spa treatments aren't far behind.

Not only can these treatment options stand on their own, but many patients turn toward med spa appointments as a way to maintain a youthful look for longer, delaying the need for cosmetic surgery until much later... or in some cases, delaying it entirely. Med spa options can also be used to further enhance the results of a more traditional cosmetic surgery procedure, such as using Botox to eliminate crow's feet in combination with eyelid surgery.
Article by
Eugene Plastic Surgeon