Dr. Youn’s Top 9 Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2009


Here are #4-#1 of Dr. Youn’s Top 9 Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2009.

#4: Nonsurgical Liposuction Techniques Run Rampant… As Do Disappointing Results. One of the hottest procedures today is nonsurgical liposuction. Cosmetic practices throughout the country are advertising fat reduction via injections (mesotherapy and Lipodissolve), external lasers, external ultrasound, and even by freezing the fat (called cryolipolysis). While these techniques sound intriguing, none have actually been proven to safely work…yet. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is currently conducting an FDA-approved study on Lipodissolve, with the initial results due in the near future. While the only proven way to safely and effectively remove fat is via liposuction, 2009 may bring considerable advances to some of these, so far, unproven modalities.

#3: Eyelash Enhancing Medication “Latisse” Hits Big in a Blink. Recently an FDA advisory panel recommended approval for this eyelash stimulating medication from Allergan, the makers of Botox. Peak sales are estimated to reach $500 million, as this treatment will be the only one of its kind. I expect Allergan will see huge profits from this topical medication, as will the physicians that dispense it. And people will walk around with Tammy Faye Baker eyes…

#2: Stem Cells are the Future in the U.S., but the Present in Other Countries. Stem cells are currently all the rage in potentially curing cancers, developmental abnormalities, and other medical problems… but are they the future for plastic surgery as well? Actually, stem cells are currently being used by some pioneering (and some reckless) surgeons outside the U.S. Dr. Vincent Giampapa introduced a stem cell facelift in France back in October and a handful of surgeons are performing breast enhancement with stem cells in Japan and Europe. So will we see stem cells being used by plastic surgeons in the U.S. in 2009? Not likely. The FDA is cautious with allowing procedures like these to be performed here in the States, and with good reason. Scientists need to prove that the use of stem cells for indications like these is safe and effective before allowing patients to undergo it. Until then, Americans will need to travel abroad for these extremely controversial treatments.

And finally we reach…
#1: Botox-Competitor Reloxin will act as an Economic Bailout for Millions of Botox Users in 2009. FDA approval for Medicis’s cosmetic botulinum toxin Reloxin is expected sometime in the new year. This may prove to be a relief to patients and plastic surgeons who have been forced to buy Botox at increasing prices each year. I currently charge my patients $650 for Botox injections to three areas, and the price of the Botox product itself accounts for at least half of that charge. Reloxin will be the first legitimate Botox competitor to challenge Allergan’s monopoly on this market, and hopefully bring prices down for the most popular cosmetic treatment in the U.S. It can end up being an economic bailout for the millions of people who undergo cosmetic botulinum toxin treatments several times a year.

So there you have it! Dr. Youn’s Top 9 Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2009. I’m interested to hear if you think I missed anything! (And don’t comment that the plastic surgery market will suffer due to the economy. This is not a prediction, but an expectation…)

Thanks for reading.

Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

Anthony Youn, M.D.

Posted in: Plastic Surgery News

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