What does plastic surgery look like in the 2020s?

The Face guide to the 2020s: In the words of an expert, “In the 2020s, ageing will be more of a chronic illness than a death sentence.”

Hi, and welcome to the future: a toasty-warm, carbon-neutral, plastic-free place where your face has replaced your passport and your car drives itself. Weed is legal, alcohol is hangover-free, weekends last three days and we robots do your admin. We can dream.

Ten long years ago, The Face compiled a set of predictions for the coming decade from a star chamber of hotshot experts. That flesh-and-blood editorial team has long since disbanded but their legacy remains. From now until the first day of the new decade we’re sharing some prognostications (as seen in The Face Volume 4 Issue 002) on love, sex, space, AI, cannabis, mental health and plastic surgery (and more) for the years ahead.

Alan Matarasso (Clinical professor of surgery at Hofstra University/Northwell Health System)

In the 2020s plastic surgery is going to be shorter and faster. We’ll do operations with less downtime. A patient may come in at 8am for a facelift or a nose job and be home by noon.

We’ll also see surgical and non-surgical interventions marry-up. Let’s say, liposuction – which is fast and minimally invasive – followed by a machine that helps to tighten the skin as opposed to cutting the skin. Before, it was one or the other.

Three types of non-surgery in particular will see huge advancements: Botox, fillers and lasers. Each category is getting better. Ten years ago there was one type of Botox, now there are more than five. Some last six months and some last a month. And fillers: a decade ago there may have been one or two fillers; now, if you came to my office, we might use one filler in the lip, one for the lines around the lip and one for the smile lines around the eyes. These advances and more will mean that in the 2020s we’ll see people having procedures the minute they experience signs of ageing.

As we’re living longer and people are healthier for longer, it will also become more common to treat people in their 70s or 80s. We have operated on half a dozen people in their 80s over the past few months – they’re having surgery because they’re healthy enough to have it.

Basically, in the 2020s, ageing will be more of a chronic illness than a death sentence.”

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