AAFPRS Survey: Combination Facial Plastic Surgery Treatment Requests Are Soaring

Combination therapies reign supreme, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) 2016 statistics.

In 2016, 66 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported performing combined non-surgical procedures in the same patient as the top trend in their practice.

“By combining injectables, lasers, ultrasound, and radiofrequency, we are able to offer highly individualized therapies to a much wider range of patients. We can also use these non-invasive options to enhance surgical results and speed recovery time for optimal outcomes,” says Dr. Fred G. Fedok, president of the AAFPRS, in a news release. “Patients want to look good for their age for as long as possible, and we now have the tools to provide visible lasting results with and without surgery.”

Fifty one percent of AAFPRS members agree that increasing numbers of men and women in their 20s and 30s are opting for preventative measures to forestall bigger procedures and surgery. This emerging segment uses advanced skincare, practices sun prevention, and starts with facial injectables before they turn 30. In fact, more than half (56 percent) of facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in 2016 in cosmetic surgery or injectables with patients under age 30.

“The focus has shifted from correction to prevention. Even before the first signs of sagging, lines or volume loss, we are seeing patients adamant about stalling the aging process,” Dr. Fedok adds.

Two of the top drivers for cosmetic procedures are the desire to remain competitive in the workforce and the desire to look good on social media.

Forty-nine percent of surgeons reported patients' wanting to stay relevant and vital at work, while social media remains a huge incentive to have some work done with even more surgeons (42 percent) than last year reporting patients seeking cosmetic procedures to look better in selfies, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live and other social channels. Eyelid procedures to look less tired, cosmetic procedures due to dissatisfaction with their profile, and requests to “get their cheekbones back” were most in demand.

Botox (Allergan), along with Dysport (Galderma) and Xeomin (Merz), remain the most popular minimally invasive procedure for both women and men, followed by hyaluronic acid fillers. As for surgical trends, rhinoplasty (nose surgery) leads the way again, followed by revision surgery, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and facelifts, the statistics showed.

For those ready for surgical solutions, a natural-looking result is paramount. Sixty-five percent of AAFPRS surgeons reported patients asking to avoid the telltale signs of surgery including a too short tip or scooped bridge when it comes to rhinoplasty. Many members also indicated that more patients are going online and bringing in images of natural noses for guidance.

Bedside Manners Matter

Bedside manner is the most important make-or-break factor in both positive and negative online reviews of facial plastic surgeons, according to the new research published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Of 200 reviews, the most common reason for a 5-star review was bedside manner, composing 40 of 152 comments (26.3 percent). Furthermore, 33 of 152 comments (21.7 percent) accompanied 5-star reviews based on how honest the physician seemed to be, and 17 percent of the 5-star reviews focused on how much the patient liked their results.

“Patient satisfaction with results with superior physician bedside manner yields the best reviews,” write Nima L. Shemirani, MD, a facial plastic surgeon at Eos Rejuvenation in Beverly Hills, CA and Jeffrey Castrillon, MS, BA of Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA.

For 1-star reviews, the second most common complaint is the feeling of being pressured or being lied to by a dishonest doctor. Another common complaint was rude office staff, the study found.

Other practical pearls that can be gleaned from the study include not pressuring patients to book and making sure staff is respectful.

The authors point out that one limitation of this study is that it looks at reviews of five large cities and may just reflect the attitudes of urban consumers. In addition, the qualitative nature of the study makes further analysis difficult.