A plastic surgery odyssey – nature and technology combined – how far we advanced in the last 15 years, and what is to come?

Fifteen years ago, Thomas Mustoe wrote a pivotal article lauding new technologies and their impact on plastic surgery over the last 25 years. His intricate discussion has inspired us to ask a similar question: what new technologies have emerged in the last 15 years, and how are they impacting the field of plastic surgery today? The development of pocket technologies gives us an opportunity to offer consults and provide medical advice remotely. Augmented-reality such as Google Glass® or HoloLens® expand our abilities to perform procedures with real-time data streaming in any location. Critical innovations are not only being made in how we interact with patients but also what materials and methods we use. Silk, a traditional clothing material is being transformed to provide greater strength and biological capacities. Through the implementation of novel negative-pressure wound therapies, we also change models of treatment. In the era of microsurgery, the traditional reconstructive ladder has become “an elevator” with novel strategies promoting the efficiency and efficacy of surgical procedures. These advances have influenced our approach to surgery, and impacted our perception of the case, operating room setup, and attempt to predict flap perfusion. New technologies, such as 3D planning software and 3D printing, are also opening up new surgical horizons. New developments presented in this paper are about a fraction of those created over the last 15 years. Such advancements have not only changed the way we operate but have a potential to create new surgical approaches, techniques, and guidelines in the future.

Evereth Publishing