Barbed sutures, wrinkle fillers give patients more innovative, non-surgical options

PHILADELPHIA Patients without time for a facelift or intimidated by surgery now have more minimally invasive options that produce effective results. Barbed sutures, ultrasonic body contouring and soft tissue fillers, three emerging trends in the plastic surgery industry, offer patients faster results without the downtime of surgery, according to a program held today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2004 conference in Philadelphia.

"Plastic surgery patients want shorter, minimally invasive procedures that produce results and have limited downtime," said Leroy Young, MD, chair of the ASPS Committee on Emerging Trends. "As plastic surgeons, we are always searching for cutting-edge technology to meet the demand of our patients. Barbed sutures, ultrasonic technology and wrinkle fillers fit the bill."

Barbed sutures are a bit like barbed wire that have little cuts in the side of the suture, allowing the barb to catch when it is passed through tissue. The catch allows the plastic surgeon to pull on the suture once it is in place and tighten the tissue. This surgical development is expected to increase the number of people having facial rejuvenation, according to Dr. Young, because the sutures themselves are minimally invasive, require almost no downtime and are low risk.

Ultrasonic body contouring uses ultrasound to disrupt, destroy and disperse targeted fat cells, giving patients the benefits of liposuction without the pain and recovery time.

Last year, more than 7 million minimally invasive procedures were performed, up 43 percent from the previous year. Almost 11 percent used a soft tissue filler to fight wrinkles, furrows and folds. With the addition of Restylane, Hylaform, and SculptraTM, plastic surgeons expect patient demand for wrinkle fillers to skyrocket.

These trends, as well as other technologies, will be discussed during the ASPS "Emerging Trends Hot To

Contact: Brian Hugins
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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