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As a leading facial plastic surgeon in San Francisco and the President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), Dr. Maas has extensive experience with the latest trends in cosmetic surgery as well as a bird’s eye view of where the industry is heading.

Dr. Maas recently joined Plastic Surgery Practice Co-Chief Editors Alison Werner and Keri Stephens to review the results from the AAFPRS’ annual member survey. Listen to the podcast here and learn more about what’s trending for 2022 below.

The Pandemic Plastic Surgery Boom Surges On

The popularity of cosmetic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic is well-documented. After an initial downturn while elective procedures were paused, the industry rapidly recovered and shows no signs of slowing down.

What’s behind plastic surgery’s growth spurt? Experts like Dr. Maas are chalking it up to a combination of factors:

  • Increased time spent seeing ourselves on video calls and conferencing tools
  • Increased disposable income due to shutdowns of restaurants, travel and retail stores
  • More time spent at home, making recovery easier and more private
  • Regular mask-wearing, making it easy to conceal signs of surgery

Now that in-person events and face-to-face socialization have resumed, we’re seeing even more interest in aesthetic medicine. The AAFPRS 2021 member survey reveals that an estimated 1.4 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the past year. The survey also reports that plastic surgeons performed an average of 600 more procedures than they did in 2020 — a 40% increase!

‘Selfie Awareness’ and ‘Zoom Dysmorphia’ Are Intensifying the Demand for Aesthetic Procedures

After two years of picking apart our appearances in virtual meetings, many of us feel more motivated than ever to invest in aesthetic enhancements. A staggering 83% of AAFPRS members say 75% or more of their work is facial plastic surgery, and 79% of facial plastic surgeons say they’ve noticed an uptick in patients seeking procedures for an improved appearance on video conferencing.

AAFPRS members point to “selfie awareness” and “Zoom dysmorphia” being major contributing factors to this phenomenon. Both terms refer to the hyper-awareness of one’s own on-screen image. “Zoom dysmorphia” was identified in a recent study published in the AAFPRS’ journal Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine. The AAFPRS was also the first organization to identify the “selfie awareness” trend (the desire to look better in selfies) in previous annual surveys.

Where Facial Aesthetics Are Concerned, the Classics Are Still Going Strong

In last year’s members surgery, the AAFPRS found that rhinoplasty (up 78%), facelifts (up 69%), blepharoplasty (up 65%) and neck lifts/treatments (up 58%) increased most during the pandemic. Nonsurgical treatments slowed down for the first time in years, primarily driven by a decline in skin treatments (down 29%) and fillers (down 8%).

This year’s survey revealed similar results for surgical procedures. Demand remains strong for rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, facelifts, neck lifts and brow lifts, proving that the classics are classics for a reason. Lip lifts emerged as newly trending facial cosmetic surgery, with at least 70% of AAFPRS members saying they performed the procedure in 2021.

Demand for nonsurgical treatments is back on the upswing. Injectables have recovered their popularity, while skin treatments like lasers are receiving increased interest from patients.

Patients Are Getting Younger and More Well-Informed

Millennials and Gen Z are now dominating the aesthetics space. Patients age 56 or older represented a lower percentage of overall procedures in 2021. This is consistent with the gradual rise in nonsurgical procedures and “tweakments” that appeal to a younger demographic, as well as the growing interest in “prejuvenation” and age prevention.

Injectables have long been an entry-level procedure for younger patients. In his practice, Dr. Maas has observed that fillers are now replacing neurotoxins as the most requested first-time injectable for Millennials and Gen Z. This shift aligns with the current popularity of lip enhancement.

Dr. Maas has also observed that many of today’s younger patients are more informed than their predecessors. Having grown up with the internet, they are very comfortable researching procedures and adept at distinguishing hype from reality. They often come to the office having already educated themselves about the treatments they are interested in.

Hair Restoration and Eyelid Rejuvenation Are Trending for Men

Men are not exempt from the desire to look and feel their best, and we’re now seeing them make up a larger percentage of aesthetic medicine patients. The latest AAFPRS survey reveals that neurotoxins and blepharoplasty are trending towards more balance between genders.

According to Dr. Maas, the popularity of these procedures among men can be attributed to the desire to look younger and more alert and to feel more competitive at work. The technical aspects of performing these procedures on men and women are similar; however, surgeons typically work more conservatively on male patients to maintain a naturally masculine look.

Hair restoration is the one procedure where men far surpass women, and it is gaining popularity. In 2021, AAFPRS members were almost five times more likely to indicate that hair transplantation was a top procedure for men, compared to 2020.

Nonsurgical Body Contouring Is Hot and Getting Hotter

The nonsurgical body contouring market is only getting bigger. While liposuction will always be a powerful choice for those seeking a slimmer or fitter figure, noninvasive and minimally-invasive options for body contouring are exploding.

In his interview with Plastic Surgery Practice, Dr. Maas comments that “those procedures work very well and they’re reliable.” In particular, he notes the effectiveness of devices like Emsculpt and CoolTone that incorporate electromagnetic energy to tone and strengthen muscles.

Additional benefits can be garnered by incorporating skin tightening treatments into a body contouring regimen. Devices such as VelaShape and Thermage utilize radiofrequency energy to reduce skin laxity while improving skin structure and texture.

The combination of nonsurgical fat reduction, muscle building and skin tightening can deliver significant results without the drawbacks of surgery.

Contact The Maas ClinicTM Today

Want more information about any of the procedures mentioned above? Corey S. Maas MDTM and his staff at The Maas ClinicTM are conveniently located to help San Francisco Bay Area patients realize their cosmetic goals. Schedule your consultation now by calling 415-567-7000 or reaching out online. We hope to see you in our offices soon!

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