Are plastic surgery trends in Toronto making people less natural than ever? What we discovered is shocking.

Surgically altering our appearance is nothing new for our society. Since the earliest recorded times, around the world various health and beauty trends have been adopted by people who want to boost attractiveness and chase that proverbial fountain of youth.

Decades ago, innovations in cosmetic or “plastic” surgery began to dramatically change what was possible for patients. Not always mainstream, plastic surgery in Toronto was once reserved primarily for society’s elite and wealthy. Though this form of anti-aging intervention was pricey, the results didn’t always appear to be well worth it. In fact, plastic surgery – especially in North American celebrity hot spots like Hollywood – gained a reputation throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s for producing “fake”, unnatural results.

Today, over-the-top reality TV shows such as Botched highlight some of the extremes in this industry and still perpetuate an image that most actual cosmetic clients don’t relate to.

Who is the “new” plastic surgery patient?

Many incredible advancements have been made in this multibillion-dollar industry. Also, medical technology has rapidly accelerated not only aesthetic possibilities, but also accessibility. As cosmetic procedures become more commonplace and easier to access for a growing number of people, are the results more or less “natural”? Is the greater affordability and popularity of surgery going to lead to unrealistically large breasts and bottoms and unnatural faces for everyone? Alternatively, is something more encouraging happening in the aesthetic industry? The answer is yes! We’re pleased with the beautiful evolution we’re seeing.

Toronto plastic surgery patients are refreshingly normal people

For decades, Hollywood has been showing us a dramatic characterization of famous and sometimes otherworldly characters who are, while intriguing and entertaining, not relatable for the average person. Everyone wants to look beautiful, maybe even a little glamorous, but it was once assumed that only Beverly Hills types sought surgical help. And at times, the notion of “facelifts” took on the negative connotations of shallow lifestyle choices. While cosmetic surgery is on the rise, the type of people seeking it has changed a lot.

The demographic has become less fabulously wealthy and more typically middle class. As Toronto plastic surgery procedures become more popular, who is having them and why is changing. Men and women are reporting sensible, sincere reasons for seeking enhancements to their appearance and are usually realistic about what can be achieved. For instance, remaining forever young and pursuing multiple surgeries to chase that dream isn’t a pattern that most patients today will follow.

The American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that the top choice for body enhancement remains breast augmentation, with 300,378 procedures recorded in 2018 – up 3% in just 2 years. Other surgeries are on the rise as well: liposuction is up 5%, and tummy tuck surgery is up 2%. The number of male patients has risen by a dramatic 50% in the past 15 years. The majority of the surgical solutions that men seek is corrective and subtle, including rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, male breast reduction, and liposuction for the abdomen.

Perhaps more interesting is the steady increase of both male and female patients pursuing non-surgical, minimally invasive cosmetic treatments such as wrinkle reduction with botulinum toxin type A (Botox). Millions of people from all walks of life now consider Botox to be a standard way to maintain their youthful appearance. The use of dermal facial fillers has likewise risen 3% in the past 2 years. Though blown-up mega-lips were a brief niche trend, young people polled by the ASPS often state that they are interested in preventative treatment. As well, people under the age of 45 are having “work done” to stave off the signs of aging before they occur, not to dramatically alter their looks.

The idea that we can slow the signs of aging for a more graceful result has become appealing, so medical products designed for this purpose have exploded on the market, offering a variety of solutions that didn’t previously exist. The approach of 30 years ago included waiting until one’s face showed dramatic signs of aging, then undergoing a full face lift to drastically smooth and lift facial skin.

That is no longer as popular as the minor, more affordable interventions that regular people can now select. Toronto plastic surgery patients have access to non-surgical “soft lifts”, mini facelifts, neck lifts, mid facelifts, brow lifts, eyelid lifts, and more. That makes this route more appealing to a broader range of people. A variety of facial surgery methods allow gentle adjustments, where the aim tends to be a very subtle refreshing of one’s appearance rather than a dramatic backward reach. It appears that as plastic surgeons offer more customized procedure choices, a higher number of people feel free to partake without changing their entire look or winding up appearing “fake”.

Is the goal of a facelift to look like a much younger person?

Yes and no. An expertly done full facelift may erase 10 years or more and keep the patient looking younger than they would have as they age gracefully. Plenty of people are happy with their age and not seeking to deny reality or turn back the clock. They are pleased to be feeling young, healthy, and energetic for longer than ever before too. With 50 being the new 40, the average facial cosmetic patient today wants to look like themselves and simply make minor adjustments to ensure that they continue to reflect how great they feel. Few people seek obvious, tightly pulled, and “unnatural” facelift procedures.

Thankfully, reputable facial plastic surgeons don’t want to create those outcomes either. Instead, the average facelift client today is a regular person who is happy and confident with their appearance overall, but wishes to target one or two problem areas to feel refreshed. They are not age-obsessed or shooting for unrealistic faces.

In addition, non-surgical options have exploded in variety and effectiveness, transforming the cosmetic landscape. These treatment types often consist of injectable solutions, laser skin tightening or resurfacing, and spot reduction for pigmentation and texture issues. Today, the average man or woman can correct skin damage and revitalize their appearance with no scalpel at all.

No longer chasing a dream of “looking young again”, people want to feel happier and confident about their reflection, well rested, rather than 20 to 30 years younger. Men, in particular, represent a growing contingent of minimally invasive cosmetic clients, with terms like “Bro-tox” being coined to account for the influx of regular guys having this treatment. Men are staying in the workforce longer than ever today, and more people find themselves single in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. So the incentive to appear healthy and vibrant leads many people to consider these well-established, youthful solutions.

The average male cosmetic patient seeking pro-aging treatments wants to smooth the eye area, soften or diminish frown lines, and perhaps restore some density to their hairline. They are not interested in anything unnatural and, in most cases, will not want it to be evident that they’ve had anything done at all. Subtle cosmetic adjustments are often kept a happy secret by a large number of people who have more in common than they may realize.

Will breast implants, lips, and bottoms keep getting bigger?

Thankfully, no, at least not according to the latest cosmetic trend watchers. While certain procedures and seemingly strange fashion trends can seem to take the world by storm at times (think massive booty or fish lips), they are short-lived and don’t usually represent widespread beauty goals. Current and projected patterns in breast augmentation are suggesting that much smaller, even “barely there” breast implants are becoming the new “it” body enhancement. Though this procedure is still very popular with young women in their 20’s, more of them are following the lead of international beauty ideals to select what’s known as the “Brazilian B,” the equivalent to a small B cup in bra size. Breast implant manufacturers have made innovative adjustments to accommodate widespread clientele preferences, so now there are small, naturally shaped, and realistic-feeling breast implants that result in subtly enhanced cleavage and fullness.

While the “augmented” look was once sought after by those idolizing popular TV and music stars, today patient types span a range of average people living ordinary lives. They are people with crow’s-feet, tired under-eye bags, and those who want a boost in confidence before re-entering the dating market. They are moms seeking a little self-care now that the kids are grown or people plumping up areas that have lost healthy shape.

For the lips, we see a range of customized dermal filler products combined with an expert injector, leading to a softer, fuller pout without the telltale duck face. Some people don’t realize that the safe, flexible, and natural material used for injectable lip enhancements can correct asymmetries, improve proportions, and yet not give the patient away. Less is more when it comes to lip filler and other injectable treatments, and it seems that this concept is catching on.

What do Toronto plastic surgeons say about the natural trend?

Expert facial plastic surgeons like Dr. Cory Torgerson MD, Ph.D., FRCSC, have a diverse range of tools at their disposal to help patients achieve their goals. With extensive surgical training in head and neck surgery, both reconstructive and cosmetic techniques, Dr. Torgerson also has in-depth knowledge of both the complementary and singular effectiveness that facial injectable and other non-surgical options have.

For instance, the recent innovations in rhinoplasty done through the use of injectable fillers, the possibilities for chin and jaw restructuring, and the safe, dramatic sculpting that can be achieved through hyaluronic acid dermal fillers all act as a natural complement to less invasive facial surgeries or as an excellent stand-alone treatment. New, impressive uses for neuromodulators and various types of filler can achieve what was once possible only through the use of a scalpel. As well, we’ve gained insight into the prevention of aging effects and now offer truly preventative measures to a range of clients. Advanced facial surgery techniques are so incredibly fine-tuned and precise that results have never appeared so flawlessly natural or offered more comfortable recovery times.

Dr. Torgerson teaches his advanced facial cosmetic surgery techniques throughout North America. The forefront of this industry is led by those innovators and surgical artists who deliver safe, powerfully effective, and beautifully natural outcomes. Dr. Torgerson takes pleasure in offering the new generation of facial cosmetic clients a fresh approach and personalized treatment. Find out how he can help you reach your goals and take the next step to reveal a naturally beautiful you.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.
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