From that French girl je ne sais quoi to the intricacies of the multi-step Korean skincare routine, the international cosmetic and aesthetic industries are as vast as they are unique. But, thanks to globalization, niche trends now have universal appeal. In this series, The AEDITION explores geographical markers of beauty and how they influence today's global patient and consumer.
Brazilian butt lifts and V-line jaw surgery (first popular in Korea) are just a few of the aesthetic procedures that have made their way to the United States over the years. Though the reverse also happens, there are many cosmetic treatments and surgeries that gain popularity overseas before becoming all the rage on our shores. To find out about the latest ones you’ll need to know about, we tapped top plastic surgeons. Here, they discuss global aesthetics trends, plus the procedures that are not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but are already in use abroad.
1. Far-Flung Fillers
You may be familiar with the Juvederm® family of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, but have you heard about Juvederm® Volite? “It’s a very thin hyaluronic acid filler like the other Juvederm® products that is even thinner than the hyaluronic acid products approved here in the U.S.,” says Dara Liotta, MD, a double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with offices in New York City and Dubai. It is injected more superficially than other fillers in tiny droplets all over the face, neck, and décolletage to improve volume and hydration for up to nine months. “These small injections of hyaluronic acid are placed within the dermis itself, rather than beneath it,” she explains.
Because hyaluronic acid attracts water, injecting Volite within the dermis draws moisture into this layer of skin in much greater quantities than could otherwise exist. This “plumps the skin from within, minimizing those fine lines that make our foundation settle into creases, and adding glow from the inside out, making us look more flawless and airbrushed with or without makeup,” Dr. Liotta explains.
But Volite isn’t the only filler finding fans abroad. “There are fillers that are used for skin quality that are thinner and more superficial than the ones we have here, such as Volite, and one that is heavier than Voluma called Volux that is used for the chin and jawline,” says Jennifer Levine, MD, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in NYC. There are also combinations of a calcium-based filler combined with hyaluronic acid filler (think: mixing Radiesse® with HA) in the pipeline. Overseas, it is common to use hyper-diluted syringes of collagen-boosting fillers, like Radiesse® and Sculptra®, all over the body, she notes.
On the neurotoxin front, Dr. Levine mentions a longer-lasting botulinum toxin from Revance (it lasts six months instead of the typical three to four) and a short-acting one called Bonte that takes effect within 24 hours (instead of three to five days) and lasts only two or three weeks as exciting innovations.
2. Rib Removal Surgery
When it comes to aesthetic plastic surgery, the goal is always to help people look and feel their best. “We try to be part of the wellness journey,” says Ryan Neinstein, MD, a New York-based board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Safety, morality, and ethics are all things that are taken seriously in this industry, but he’s noticed a recent surge of patients who have undergone dramatic and questionable procedures.
Case in point: Rib removal surgery. “This procedure is dramatic and risks for it go the level of severe heart and lung injury and perhaps death,” he warns. While rib manipulation may be part of reconstructive procedures, it’s not meant to be done for purely cosmetic reasons. “Removing and altering ribs is a part of many reconstructive procedures where the bone or cartilage is used to reconstruct deficits from trauma, infection, or cancer,” Dr. Neinstein explains. Understandable are risks becoming tolerated given the trade-off in reconstruction, but “simply removing ribs in effort of decreasing one's chest or waist in clothing remains questionable,” he says.
3. High-Definition Liposuction
On the positive side, Dr. Neinstein says that high-definition liposuction is on the rise. “A procedure born out of South American ingenuity has permeated Park Avenue,” he says. Most of Dr. Neinstein’s patients are in search of a lean look, and his practice’s devices and techniques now allow for muscle definition. “By using artistic skill with our technology, we can now melt the fat down to just a few cells under the skin,” he explains. “For athletic patients with a great underlying muscular framework, we can now create a hill and valley concept that gives a sexy and athletic look.”
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