Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed in order to change one's appearance. For some, it may mean redesigning the body's contour and shape, the elimination of wrinkles, or eliminating balding areas. Others may choose varicose vein treatment or breast augmentation.
There are a number of cosmetic surgery procedures that men and women can choose from in order to create an image that makes them feel more confident and comfortable with their appearance. In 2003, more than 15 million people had cosmetic surgery.
Although health insurance rarely covers the cost of cosmetic procedures, the number of individuals deciding to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery continues to grow. The top five cosmetic surgeries included liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, and facelift. More than 1.4 million women had one or more of these surgeries in 2004.
Further, it is not just women who are opting to enhance their appearance through surgery. Statistics show that the number of men having liposuction - the removal of fatty tissue - has increased 500 percent since 1992. In addition, the number of men having facelifts has more than quadrupled.
the most common cosmetic procedures (invasive and minimally-invasive) are listed here by their common or descriptive names:
Liposuction is a procedure that removes excess fat through a suctioning process. Although it is not a substitute for weight loss, it is a way of changing the body's shape and contour.
Women usually have liposuction performed under the chin, on the hips, thighs, and stomach, and in the under arm and breast areas. In women, the single most frequently treated areas are the outer thighs, followed by the stomach.
Men usually have liposuction performed under the chin and around the waist, or in the reduction of enlarged male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia. In men, the waist area or "love handles" are most frequently treated.
Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck” is a procedure that minimizes the abdominal area. During the procedure, the surgeon removes excess fat and skin. A less complex procedure is a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini tummy tuck.” Partial abdominoplasty is ideal for patients who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.
Eyelid Lift - Blepharoplasty
The tone and shape of eyelids can loosen and sag with time. An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, can correct this. During the procedure, your physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.
Blepharoplasty can give the eyes a more youthful look and can correct droopy eyelids, a condition called ptosis. You may want a blepharoplasty procedure for cosmetic reasons or to be able to see better. This often depends on what part of the eyelid has the excess skin:
Upper eyelids: Excess skin in the upper eyelids can result in a tired appearance or can result in difficulty seeing the top portion of your field of vision. Sometimes, blepharoplasty surgery for the upper eyelid is for cosmetic reasons, while in other cases the surgery is medically necessary to allow you to see better.
Lower eyelids: Blepharoplasty in the lower eyelid is usually a cosmetic procedure to improve the shape, contour and appearance of loose skin, bulging fat and irregular shape.
Facelift - Facial Surgery
Rhytidectomy, a surgical procedure commonly known as a facelift, involves the removal of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial muscles, and the stretching of facial skin to approximate a smoother, firmer facial appearance. The procedure takes place on either the face, neck, or both.
Depending on the area of the face or neck where the "lift" is to take place, the surgeon will separate the skin from the fat and muscle. The fat is then removed and the skin is pulled back into place with any excess removed.
The interest in hair replacement has significantly increased over the past ten years. Two out of every three men, and one in five women, suffer from hair loss. For men, the main cause of a diminishing hairline is heredity. Hormonal changes such as menopause can cause both thinning and hair loss in women.
There are a number of hair replacement techniques that are available, although hair replacement surgery cannot help those who suffer from total baldness. Candidates for hair replacement must have a healthy growth of hair at the back and sides of the head. The hair on the back and sides of the head will serve as hair donor areas where grafts and flaps will be taken.
Otoplasty — also known as cosmetic ear surgery — is a procedure to change the shape, position or size of the ears.
You might choose to have otoplasty if you're bothered by how far your ears stick out from your head. You might also consider otoplasty if your ear or ears are misshapen due to an injury or birth defect.
Otoplasty can be done at any age after the ears have reached their full size — usually after age 5 — through adulthood. In some cases, the surgery is done as early as age 3.
An arm lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the under portion of your upper arms.
During an arm lift — also known as brachioplasty — excess skin and fat are removed from between the armpit and elbow. The remaining skin is placed back over the newly repositioned contours to create a more toned look.
Breast augmentation — also known as augmentation mammoplasty — is surgery to increase breast size. It involves placing breast implants under breast tissue or chest muscles.
For some women, breast augmentation is a way to feel more confident. For others, it's part of rebuilding the breast for various conditions.
If you're considering breast augmentation, talk to a plastic surgeon. Make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care.
Breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. If you have large breasts, you might choose to have breast reduction surgery to ease discomfort or to achieve a breast size proportionate to your body.
Breast reduction surgery might also help improve your self-image and your ability to participate in physical activities.
If you're considering breast reduction surgery, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. It's important to understand what breast reduction surgery entails — including possible risks and complications — as well as set realistic expectations