Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2011

As we begin a new year, it is time to once again throw out some fearless predictions about what we will see in 2011. There are endless lists of predictions this time of year, so why not one for plastic and cosmetic surgery as well.

1) As the economy improves, albeit slowly, expect to see the number of people undergoing plastic surgery to increase this year. The past two years has seen the numbers of most major cosmetic surgeries decline by anywhere from 10% to 25%. If the economists are right (?), this will be the a turnaround year to reverse this downturn. Nips and tucks that people have put off in the recession will account for this increased demand.

2) The demand for non-surgical procedures will continue to increase. Between the number of new injectable fillers, competitive products to Botox, laser and light therapies for skin tightening, and different methods to zap unwanted fat, science and technology continue to expand the non-surgical market. The irrepressible human hope that one can look five or ten years younger in just one office visit assures a surging public interest.

3) The need for body contouring after massive weight loss will rise this year. As more and more people undergo bariatric surgery with weight losses in excess of 100lbs, the burgeoning amount of flabby skin will parallel that of the national debt. The subspecialty of Bariatric Plastic Surgery grows as fast as the number of contestants lining up to vie for the next The Biggest Loser show.

4) Incredulous cosmetic procedure disaster stories will continue. While the internet can account for anything becoming instant international news, poorly trained and unqualified practitioners will keep the complications coming. From discount injectable products to surgeries performed in a hotel room or people’s homes, those searching to gather quick cash off of naive patients will keep contributing to this type of plastic surgery news.

5) The number of reality plastic surgery TV shows will reach new lows. The list of cringe-inducing reality TV shows continues to grow. Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse than with the debut of Bridalplasty last fall, next up will be Mistress Makeover… a show for women who have had alleged illicit affairs with celebrities. I think I could have stomached a show on Pet Makeovers better.

6) The hottest body fashion trend this year will be the one you sit on. With the influences of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez, women are increasingly seeking a more shapely rear-end. Buttock lifts and fat injection buttock augmentations will become more mainstream. This is also influenced by an ever growing and diverse ethnic population that often places as much emphasis on this area as has historically been focused on the breasts.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana