According to a report by Transparency Market Research, the global surgical procedures volume market stood at 1,3bn procedures in 2014 and is estimated to reach 2,2bn procedures by 2023. Internationally as well as on local shores, non-invasive or 'soft' surgeries are gathering momentum, with briefer hospital stays, minimal incision, less post-surgery complications, and shorter recovery time.
In addition, innovative medical devices with shorter recovery times boost the market and make treatment processes easier for surgeons have impacted on the cosmetic surgery industry. As a result, numbers of open surgical procedures have stagnated over recent years with only minimally and non-invasive procedures recording real growth.
According to medical professionals, South Africa follows trends emerging across Europe and America where consumers are seeking aesthetic treatments that are more affordable, less invasive yet effective. One such advancement that is driving this demand is the introduction of plasma technology.
“Two decades ago, a young doctor opening a new aesthetic practice would need only botox and fillers and have a successful practice. These days, there’s much more competition. Technology is advancing faster and doctors are forced to keep up global trends. Informed patients will insist on treatments that use newer technology and doctors will have to accept this new reality or be left behind,’’ says Dr Johan Botha.
Botha comments that there are products that have revolutionised the way superficial skin lesions, wrinkles and scarring are treated. By generating a small electrical arc between the device and a person’s skin, the Plexr
device vaporises only the outmost layers of the skin, without transferring unwanted heat and damaging adjacent tissues. This process preserves the deeper layers, and drastically reduces any potential permanent skin damage, at the same time decreasing recovery time.
Designed and patented by Italian professor, Giorgio Fippi, Plexr has applications in dermatology, plastic surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, gynaecology, and aesthetics, including treating acne scars, active acne, warts, keloids, fibromas, winkles, permanent expression lines and tattoo removal. “We anticipate that new plasma devices focused on gynaecology and otolaryngology will be announced soon, further expanding the capabilities of these devices,” adds Botha.
“Non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment methods are here to stay, and with the rising global geriatric population the ophthalmic procedures segment is set to continue dominating surgical procedures globally.”