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Summary: This is the time of year when we all try to reflect on the past and anticipate the future. It just comes with the territory, and the funny way we mark the passage of time (arbitrarily). So while you might not see the Barbie Back procedure performed by, say, Minneapolis body contouring plastic surgeons any time soon, there are some who think it’s only a matter of time before this trend blows up nationwide, in large part due to the popularity of butt augmentation. And only time will tell if that assumption is true.

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A Large Trend in Plastic Surgery

The butt is big right now. You can thank Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez or Beyonce or whoever you want to thank, but there’s no getting around the fact that today, the big butt is a big look—in a good way. It’s one of the reasons that butt augmentation surgery has been trending and its popularity has been rising. Indeed, worldwide, there are few procedures that are climbing the ranks quite as quickly as butt augmentation. The reason is pretty simple: it’s very, very difficult to get that desired, round butt look naturally. One look at the exercise regimens suggested for that effect is enough to prove that. So butt augmentation is quickly becoming a mainstay of world wide plastic surgery.

There’s another mainstay of plastic surgery. Around this time of year, everyone tries to predict the next trend in the industry. Part of this can be chalked up to the simple fact that we all like to predict the future, we all like to know what’s coming, and plastic surgeons are no different in this respect. Of course, when you’re responsible for running a business, as many plastic surgeons are—in that they are responsible for running their practices—an ability to predict the future is even more handy. You have to know how much staff to have on hand, you have to predict training that will be required for new procedures, products to buy, techniques to invest in, and so on.

Plastic Surgery Can be a Trendy Field

But let’s also be frank for a minute, too. Plastic surgery is one of those fields where everyone wants to be on the cutting edge of the next hot new procedure. And sometimes this can make plastic surgery look shallow, following the trends a little too closely. This isn’t true of all plastic surgeons, of course, but there are certainly “hot” trends that fizzle rather quickly. There are also “hot” trends that border on good taste—“Cinderella” surgery, for example, in which bone is actually removed from the foot in order to facilitate the ability to wear smaller shoes.

There’s also the recent trend in which liposuction is used to help women fit into knee-high boots. In this procedure, women have excess fat—though, not much of it—removed from their calves so they can fit into this season’s rather svelte style of boot. This certainly isn’t as problematic as the so-called Cinderella surgery, but there’s a legitimate question as to whether this procedure will still be around in five or ten years, especially if styles change (then again, one of the benefits of plastic surgery that is often touted is the ability to fit into your clothes better, for both men and women, so it’s not as though there isn’t some history of plastic surgery shaping people to fit fashion better).

Barbie Butt the Next Thing in Body Contouring?

Which brings us to what at least one doctor thinks will be the next big trend. He’s calling it Barbie back surgery, and it’s directly related to the popularity of the recently mentioned butt augmentation. Apparently, Barbie—the doll—has a back that features a perfect v-shaped dimple above the buttocks area. Many patients who want the larger, rounder butts of Kim Kardashian etc., also want this particular dimple. The doctor who is predicting this trend has a technique for creating this dimple that, basically, sounds a lot like CoolSculpting or water assisted liposuction or something of that family of body contouring procedures.

And, of course, there are surgical options as well, such as traditional liposuction—now much more refined and natural looking than it used to be. It will remain to be seen whether the demand for this procedure pans out, but it does stand to reason this procedure might be a popular companion procedure to the ever-growing butt augmentation.

The Next Thing Will Always Be Shaped By Consumer Demand

But that’s how it always is in the field of plastic surgery. Procedures can be hot one day and cold the next. It’s true that some probably looked at butt augmentation in the same way when it was getting its start, but now that procedure seems to be a staple at many practices. Whatever the case, and whatever comes from the Barbie Back procedure, there’s no doubt plastic surgery will keep trying to predict the trends of the coming seasons. It’s the only way that plastic surgeons can be ready to provide a safe, effective technique when the fashion world takes a hard left turn.

And in the end, that’s what it’s really about. Make sure people are happy with the results and safe while they get them. Whatever the procedure anyone wants to undergo, the ultimate goal is always a long term improvement in the quality of life. And as long as plastic surgeons are using that to guide their definition of hot and trendy procedures, as the lens through which they’re looking at the future, those procedures won’t be in danger of being shallow or flakey. They’ll just be good for the patient.

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