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Interest in injectables remains high during pandemic

Botulinum toxin type A, followed by soft tissue fillers, have remained very much in the public’s mindset as preferred treatments despite the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new member survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

ASPS member surgeons formulated the following early predictions on top 2020 procedure trends as in-office visits safely resume for patients, doctors and staff. Insights were gathered from more than 350 members and were based on what members learned from patients via telemedicine appointments.

Injectables were the most asked-for treatments, followed by more invasive procedures. In first place was botulinum toxin type A (65%); with soft tissue fillers (37%) in third place, after breast augmentation (44%). In fourth place was liposuction (30%), followed by abdominoplasty (24%).

Says ASPS president, Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA, FACS: "Injectable use is now a part of our cultural conversation, thanks to the average patient seeing the benefits of natural results from the advancements in technique and products that allow plastic surgeons to individualise their recommended treatments to what each patient needs."

The continued interest in such procedures during the pandemic suggest patient confidence in these specialities and their board-certified plastic surgeons to reopen and resume procedures safely. This aligns with findings from an ASPS national consumer survey released in May, which revealed an overall positive attitude towards plastic surgery procedures, even among those who are interested but have not undergone procedures before.

Building upon that trust, following stay-at-home orders and CDC guidelines, ASPS convened plastic surgeon working groups to issue guidance regarding COVID restrictions, elective surgery, and safe resumption of surgery. "The early signs of patients' confidence in resuming procedures with our trusted members is a testament to why we do what we do," comments Dr Jeffers.

In 2019, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures grew at a slightly higher rate than surgical procedures, and the total number of procedures increased for the third year in a row. Last year marked the highest number of botulinum toxin type A injections to date with over 7.69 million injections, and facial rejuvenation procedures are not showing signs of slowing down in 2020.

Among the 16.3 million cosmetic minimally invasive procedure performed in 2019, up 2% compared to 2018 data, the top 5 were:

1. Botulinum toxin type A (7.69 million procedures)

2. Soft tissue fillers (2.72 million procedures)

3. Chemical peel (1.38 million procedures)

4. Laser hair removal (1.0 million procedures)

5. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment (685,755 procedures)

From this survey, results show patients continue to be interested in pursuing major surgeries and that the general interest has not changed in the type of procedures and operations from the Society's pre-pandemic statistics.

While ASPS anticipates a decrease in total number of cosmetic procedures in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Society forecasts a strong demand for treatments as practices reopen for in-office procedures. The number of cosmetic surgical procedures remained steady in 2019 vs. 2018 with 1.8 million surgical procedures performed, and six of the top 10 procedures focused from the neck down.

ASPS is the world’s largest organisation of board-certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 8,000 member surgeons, the Society is recognised as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

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