Nov 20, 2017 Published in Marketing, Future Technologies

Medical Device Industry Trends: Advances in Plastic Surgery

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Plastic surgery is one of the few fields of medicine covered in both medical journals and fashion magazines. So, how do you separate the facts from the hype? Here is our list of the latest innovations and trends in the plastic surgery industry that will be making an impact in 2018.

Breast augmentation still number one
Breast augmentation remains the most popular plastic surgery, and silicone breast implants have now pulled ahead of saline as the most popular type of implant for this procedure. Researchers had to go back to the drawing board on silicone implants in the 90s to address issues relating to the durability and potential negative health effects of the product, but since coming back on the market in 2006, this alternative to saline has gained popularity and market share. The complete product category overhaul paid off and yielded what is now a safe and durable alternative to saline. One of the most attractive features of the silicone implant is its customizability—the level of cohesiveness of the silicone gel can be used to create custom shapes and levels of firmness. These attractive features and benefits will only continue to fuel the shift from saline to silicone in 2018.

Augmented Reality: Not just a marketing tool
In marketing, we often think of augmented reality (AR) as a way of showcasing a product or creating an experiential marketing experience. While those applications are useful, in plastic surgery the use of AR is beginning to be used as a tool for surgeons as well. Researchers have been able to use current smart glasses technology and free, open source software to develop a way for surgeons to see an AR image of the final desired result during surgery. While still in the initial stages, the concept could be the next technological leap in the field, especially toward advancing the training of future plastic surgeons. If this area of research proves fruitful, the development of branded AR surgical glasses and software specific to plastic surgery will be coming soon.

Fat Grafting
Fat grafting has been the subject of numerous click-bait news stories with headlines like, “You won’t believe the newest plastic surgery trend!” or some variation. While “shocking” to some, fat grafting has actually been around for decades. However thanks to technological improvements in the processing of the fat tissue, the technique is becoming a more realistic option for a wide range of procedures. The benefits of using a patient’s own fat is a longer lasting result, and can even be used in combination with fillers or implants. The injectable filler market will still remain strong due to the higher cost of the fat grafting procedure. As the cost comes down, though, injectables and implants marketers are going to want to assess their strategies to remain competitive in the marketplace. At The Matchstick Group, our focus on giving medical device marketers the tools they need to create winning strategies in this fast-paced and competitive industry led us to create the Strategic Quotient (SQ) guide, which you can download below.

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References
ASPS. New Plastic Surgery Statistic Reveal Focus on Face and Fat [press release]. March 1, 2017. Accessed: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/new-plastic-surgery-statistics-reveal-focus-on-face-and-fat

ASPS. Augmented Reality Technology May Help Guide Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [press release]. August 3, 2017. Accessed: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/augmented-reality-technology-may-help-guide-plastic-and-reconstructive-surgery

Hilton L. Worldwide cosmetic surgery trends. Modern Medicine Network. August 2, 2017. Accessed: http://aestheticchannel.modernmedicine.com/aesthetic-channel/news/worldwide-cosmetic-surgery-trends

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