Summary: Millennials get blamed for quite a bit these days, but there’s no doubt that Millennials are changing plastic surgery. They just aren’t necessarily changing it for the worse. In fact, over the long term, Millennials could be doing a great service for plastic surgery across the board!
How Millennials are Changing Plastic Surgery
You can blame Millennials for a lot of things. Applebee’s is in financial trouble—and blames Millennials. Avacados are popular—blame Millennials. But here’s a new accusation: Millennials are changing plastic surgery. Sure, I used the word “accusation,” but I should probably refrain from that kind of inflammatory language.
Because these changes aren’t necessarily bad. Personally, I think Millennials are just fine. Every generation comes in and changes things around, perturbing previous generations in very special ways. Socrates was sure that Plato’s generation was going to be utter rubbish. So this is not a new trend.
But if surgeons want to be prepared for what’s coming—for the newest generation of patients—they need to know exactly how Millennials are changing plastic surgery. And they need to be willing to accept those changes (at least, you know, where it’s safe to do so).
Aren’t Millennials Just Younger Patients?
To be sure, on a few very fundamental levels, there’s absolutely nothing different about a Millennial patient. Whether a patient is young or old, what’s important is the quality of care and the quality of the result. Every plastic surgeon worth his or her salt is already going to be working based on the unique physiology and desires of the patient anyway.
In many ways, a surgeon is going to approach a Millennial exactly the same. Figure out what the patient wants and the best way to deliver. Generally, this happens during the consultation period and can involve several discussions about treatment options.
What’s new about Millennials is the type of procedures they want.
Perhaps because they still tend to be relatively young, Millennials are more often than not interested in procedures that are non surgical. Rather than a rhinoplasty, they want a non surgical rhinoplasty. In Los Angeles, where these procedures are incredibly popular, there’s a ton of providers offering this procedure—and the frenzy has spread to the rest of the country as well.
Essentially, Millennials are interested in procedures that:
- Are able to achieve results without surgery
- Can be used to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and lines
- Help patients change a specific part of their look
- Do not require extensive recovery
- Can be accomplished in a short period of time
Surgery is Still Popular
That’s not to say that Millennials are going to eschew surgery in every way possible. There will still be patients that want breast augmentations or tummy tucks or liposuction procedures. Or rhinoplasty. That’s because there are some results that simply cannot be accomplished non surgically.
For patients that want to remove volume from the nose, for example, only surgery can accomplish that. Likewise, patients that want a breast lift will also have to undergo surgery of some kind.
But the draw of alternatives will always be strong. Millennials tend to be busy people, so giving them a procedure that’s quick, easy, and gets results (and is generally less expensive) is always going to be tempting. Basically, non surgical procedures offer:
- Almost instant results
- Little in the way of discomfort
- Lower costs
- Fast recovery
You can see why they’re appealing to Millennials.
Millennials are Preventing Aging But that Won’t Last Forever
Currently, most Millennials are interested in procedures that either change something aesthetic (such as body contouring or rhinoplasty) or in procedures that can prevent the development of wrinkles and lines. For example, Botox injections have been shown that they can actually prevent wrinkles from developing in the first place (in certain instances).
It’s not surprising that Millennials are mostly interested in preventing wrinkles. They aren’t old enough to be treating those wrinkles or trying to rejuvenate their skin.
But that time will come. And when it does, the goal of Millennials will change. The relationship between Millennials and plastic surgery will also change. That change happens over time—it’s the way of the universe (or the circle of life).
But what’s more certain than ever is simply this: Plastic surgery is a bigger part of Millennials’ lives than that of any previous generation. They’re spending more money on cosmetic procedures, and they project much less stigma around plastic surgery.
Assuming these patients stick around—and why wouldn’t they—Millennials are changing plastic surgery by making it more popular than ever. Which would, of course, be music to the ears of surgeons everywhere.