It’s not unusual to want to look your best, to put your best foot forward, to dress neatly and be well-groomed. Likewise, who wouldn’t mind looking younger than their age? While it may be true that it’s what’s inside that counts, it’s what’s outside that allures, engages, and presents the “inside you” to the world.
Certainly, appearances matter, but there are limits. If you think that undergoing major plastic surgery to make yourself look a bit younger or refreshed is just too much, you’re not alone. Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have shown that while $13 billion are spent annually in the US on plastic surgery treatments, nearly $11 billion of that is spent on nonsurgical treatments. So over 80% of all the money spent on plastic surgery, isn’t for surgery at all! (View more stats here.)
More and more of our patients are opting for nonsurgical options. There has been an explosion in alternatives to major surgery, from liquid facelifts and mini-lifts to fat-freezing body sculpting. While the development of these alternative treatments has been a welcome addition to our patients’ choices, it has also introduced a great deal of confusion. Which of these new technologies actually works? Which one is best? Who is a good candidate for what? Having been in practice for over twenty-five years, I have seen more than my share of “miracle machines” come and go. The amazing wonder touted on this year’s talk shows is often forgotten about a year later, and many of these machines make their way into the hands of doctors who have never before provided aesthetic treatments. Some even wind up in spas.
The bottom line: you must be an informed consumer. Many people, including some in the medical field, think these aesthetic treatments are easy and straight-forward. Aesthetic plastic surgeons have extensive training in and experience with all the different tissues of the body, from the molecular biology of wound healing, to the science of fat reduction and grafting, to the restoring, reshaping, and contouring of muscle, bone, and skin. These scientific studies are further wedded to an artistic understanding and appreciation of beauty. There is nothing straight-forward or easy about it. In fact, many of these nonsurgical options are as difficult to perform optimally as their surgical counterparts, and shouldn’t everyone want an optimal result?
If you’re one of the 80% who would prefer plastic surgery without the surgery, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. But, do check credentials and results before scheduling a consultation, so that without compromising quality or safety, you can take reasonable steps to look just as good as you feel.