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Effectiveness and Safety of Popular Cosmetic Procedures

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, nearly 9.5 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2010. It’s important for those seeking cosmetic procedures to discuss their options with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon. Selecting the right treatment for a patient is not a trivial matter. Patients should get treatments from experienced practitioners, rather than someone at a nearby spa who is minimally trained and not able to evaluate the scientific evidence or able to handle complications. Not one option or device is the best fit for every patient complaint. Only experienced physicians can assist patients in selecting the treatment that’s best suited for them.

Some of the most common cosmetic procedures, such as injectables (Botox, Juvederm), studies have been found that both are safe and effective. Other procedures, such as liposuction, laser hair removal, treatment of broken blood vessels, brown spots, etc., included in these studies confirms their safety and effectiveness also. Procedures that include the use of infrared light or ultrasound devices to shrink and tighten the skin, or use of lasers for fat removal and fat “melting” by super cooling fat cells, are approved by the FDA. Data shows that they cause mild improvements and are safe short term, but not everyone is a candidate. Because these procedures are newer, less is known about their long-term safety and effectiveness. The best option is to come in for a consultation and be evaluated by a plastic surgeon.