Technology is making the art of beauty more accessible and precise. If that wasn’t great enough, in some cases, it makes it cheaper! There’s no question that advances in technology have revolutionized cosmetic surgery in recent years. As board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Louis P. Bucky explains, innovation in cosmetic surgery treatment isn’t always about new technology, but how to use existing technology in different ways to deliver powerful results.
Same Technology, New Twist
Approaching the third decade of the new millennium, cosmetic surgery continues to surge. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported last year more than a 100% increase in the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States since the year 2000. The most popular procedures are still liposuction, rhinoplasty and breast augmentation, but advancing technology allows more people to take advantage of non-invasive procedures that require little downtime, and are often less expensive.
Some of the spike in cosmetic surgery can be attributed to a rise in technology. Other times, a new option in plastic surgery is a different twist using the same technology. “I think that innovation is not always the innovation of something new, but technological advancements can be the improvement of existing technology,” shares Dr. Bucky. “I think we are seeing this in plastic surgery all over. We are seeing this across the board.”
Bucky says the change in technology is improving plastic surgery overall. “When you put all of that together, its cost effective. If you can achieve a result in two treatments the new way, verses five treatments the old way, even though they might have been cheaper, you come out way ahead in the new way. I believe that technologies that work are here to stay and we just refine them and improve them.”
New Twist on Beauty
Often, as plastic surgeons get comfortable with new technology, more treatments will emerge. That’s the case with CoolSculpting, which is the popular non-surgical fat removal technology. Dr. Bucky says CoolSculpting can now be used in different ways, making the treatment a viable option for more people. “CoolSculpting was originally just used to treat love handles in the belly area, that you could grab,” he explains. “Now, there are more indications for the neck area and the back of the arm.”
He also says the new uses are more appealing to patients because they don’t involve pulling and stretching of the skin. “Yes, now we don’t have to pull the tissue in the most uncomfortable way. You can just apply the hand pieces to the areas of interest,” says Bucky.
He adds that when there is a new use, people tend to look at the technology in a different light. “It doesn’t mean that there is a new freezing technology out there, just an advancement in the applications and more approval with the experience.”
One Laser – Multiple Treatments
Another area where technology is throwing open the door to big changes is with lasers. Bucky says his office just purchased several of the Sciton lasers, which have the ability to resurface and improve the texture and contour of skin. “Their use is expanding because we can treat more areas in a more focal way,” he explains. “We can get quicker recovery and improvements at the same time.”
Bucky says he used to think a laser that used a deep treatment created the best outcome, but now he’s finding that’s not necessarily the case. “The thought about skin resurfacing was always the deeper, more intense treatment would be associated with a better outcome, but now we can get better outcomes with a limited recovery, which is what everyone wants. “That in itself is a technological advancement, and it doesn’t mean that you have to buy a new laser,” he concludes.