Cosmetic surgery is a complex and difficult field, but it is one where there have been some massive improvements made over the last few years. From simple things such as the invention of the Invisalign – a form of dental brace that is almost undetectable, and is incredibly effective, to things like new scar treatments and innovations in surgery techniques, the world of medicine is advancing very quickly.
Medical technology is getting better, medicine is getting cheaper, patients can heal faster from less invasive surgeries, and patient care is getting more efficient. Combined, this means that people can enjoy more convenient, safer surgeries that produce better results.
While there have been many innovations in the development of medical technology, the FDA does not just approve new surgery techniques or drugs. For new drugs and treatments to be approved, they need to be tested extensively, and there needs to be proof that they are safe, effective, and subject to sufficient quality control.
The world of medicine is heavily regulated, for obvious reasons. There are also political and corporate issues to take into account – engineers and scientists will naturally want to innovate and improve health care and medical technology, but the cost of those innovations is immense, and striking a balance between making health care safer, improving the effectiveness of elective procedures, improving survival rates, and ensuring that medicine works in the long term are not going to be easy.
Take something like migraine treatments – you can use painkillers, but these aren’t always effective and it’s not really safe to keep using them day in, day out. You can use chiropractic treatments, but again there is the risk with these and people would need lifelong treatments. Implants are something that are being explored – and they could be incredibly effective – but an implant could leave scars, and there is the risk of infection during the surgery. Plus, what would you do if the implant broke and needed replaced?
On the elective front, things like collagen, face lifts, and breast implants are all serious procedures when you think about it. Breast implants have come a long way in the last few years, but there is still a risk with them. What would you do if you were to get sick as a result of the surgery, or if it did not heal the way you expected it to?
Over the next few years we can expect to see surgeries get even safer, with less risk of scarring, smaller incisions being required, fewer visible stitches, lower risks of infection, and even more direct, narrow and focused treatments for cancers. The treatments that we use today will likely be thought of as barbaric by our descendants – just like we think of the treatments of a few generations ago as being primitive, ineffective and misguided. Technology is always advancing, and as it does our health, life-span and level of comfort will continue to improve year after year.