Recently there is a sudden upraise of cosmetic surgery and it is still growing its popularity. More and more people are now willingly undergoing diverse cosmetic procedures to enhance or improve their quality of life. It has been estimated that about 15.1 million cosmetic procedures are still being carried out around the globe.
But what is cosmetic surgery? Cosmetic surgery is such a surgical procedure that aims at improving the appearance of certain parts of the body especially the face. It basically includes the reconstruction of the cutaneous or underlying tissues that is performed to improve and rectify the structural defect, scars, birthmark or normal signs of aging.
There are numerous cosmetic procedures that are available and that can address almost every part of the body. The results obtained from the procedures are mostly permanent, so it is very important for the people undergoing cosmetic procedures to be sure about their decision.
Now, cosmetic surgery is often been confused with plastic surgery and most of us actually consider both as the same procedure. But this is not actually true. Both cosmetic and plastic surgery basically deals with improving the patient’s body, but the outcomes and goals are way different from each other.
In cosmetic surgery, the procedures, techniques, and principles are entirely focused on enhancing the appearance of the patients. It includes improving the aesthetic appeal, the symmetry of any part of head, neck, and body. Cosmetic surgery is mostly practiced by doctors belonging to a variety of medical fields including the plastic surgeons. Whereas, plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty that helps in the reconstruction of the facial and body impairments which may be due to various factors like trauma, burns, and diseases. Plastic surgery mainly includes breast reconstructions, burn repair surgeries, congenital defect repair, hand surgery, etc.
Plastic surgery procedure overview
Breast augmentation, lift, and reduction- Breast augmentation or breast enlargement is normally performed by using saline or silicone gel implants that are FDA approved. Though breast augmentation may also be performed by utilising the body’s own fat. The fatty tissues are collected from the patient’s own body, then processed and finally injected into the breasts. However, either of the procedures can help women to achieve the most natural breast appearance. Such beast procedures are mostly undergone by those women who are not content with the appearance of their breasts. In some women, a breast augmentation may also help to boost the self-esteem and improve their confidence.
Breast reduction involves the removal of skin, fatty tissues and other glandular breast tissues. This procedure is most effective for candidates who have overly large sized breasts. This is because large breast may often give rise to certain symptoms like neck and back pain, bad posture, and infection.
A breast lift is also popular as mastopexy which also encompasses removing of the skin, excess glandular tissues to make the breasts look smaller. The remaining breast tissues are elevated to make the breasts appear lifted. Often, a breast lift may also be combined with an implant if necessary.
Well, male breast reduction may also be performed to treat gynecomastia where the underlying breast tissues and fat are removed through incisions. The incisions are mostly made within the natural breast lines.
Liposuction- Liposuction is also popular as lipectomy that uses narrow hollow metal tubes to loosen the fat on the area of treatment. The treated area is injected with some medicinal fluid and some anesthetic to ensure that the patients do not experience any pain. The cannula is made to move with a controlled movement to loosen the fat cells. The liquefied fat is then vacuum suctioned out from the body. Areas like abdomen, buttocks, thighs, hips, backs, arms and neck are eligible for liposuction. To deter the complications and risks related to liposuction choosing an experienced surgeon is mandatory. Additionally, a limited amount of fat can be removed safely from the body. Liposuction must not be considered as a weight loss procedure. The side effects are rare but may also include accumulation of blood under the skin, hematoma, seroma, change in sensation, allergic reactions, damage to the nerves, etc.
Vulvovaginal surgery- This is also a cosmetic procedure that includes labiaplasty, labioplasty, labia minor reduction or labial reduction or other surgeries to labia minora or majora of a female genitalia. The procedure ultimately aims at reducing a labia that may create some uneasiness.
Body procedures – Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is surgical procedure that helps people in achieving a flatter and smoother abdominal area. The excess skin and fat are removed from the middle and lower abdominal area. The procedure also aims at tightening the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck is mainly undergone by women after pregnancy or after losing a significant amount of weight.
A buttock lift or a lower body lift- A body lift involves eliminating excess skin from the hips, buttocks, and thighs to tighten the skin and uplift them. These procedures are often combined with abdominoplasty for patients who have recently lost a significant amount of weight.
Buttock augmentation is also another body contouring procedure that improves the appearance of the buttocks by making them bigger. Silicone implants and fat grafts are used for buttock augmentation. The buttock implants highly differ from the breast implants.
Facial contouring with Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery helps in reshaping the eyelids which may start dropping or covering up the upper lips and swollen eye bags on the lower lids. These change may start appearing due to aging and stress. This cosmetic procedure involves the removing or repositioning of the excess skin and fat from the procedure.
Rhinoplasty is also a facial cosmetic surgery that is more popular as “nose job”. In this procedure, the surgeon reshapes the patient’s nose to improve the appearance and functional activity of the nose. The procedure encompasses reshaping the tip and reducing the bony hump at the upper part of the nose. Rhinoplasty is generally performed with small incisions hidden within the nostrils. Teenagers and adults who are in an overall good health can choose to undergo the procedure.
Otoplasty or ear surgery helps treating certain issues with ears by surgically pinning the ear closer to the head with sutures. The cartilages may also be reshaped if necessary. One or both the ears can be treated. It is mostly performed in children above 5 to 6 years.
Facelift aims at removing the wrinkles and tightening the facial skin surgically to attain a more youthful and rejuvenating appearance. Normally the incisions are placed within the hairline that runs through the temple area behind the ears. The skin is elevated and then redraped even more tightly after removing the excess skin. Finally, the incisions are closed within the sutures. The deeper tissues of the face and neck can also be tightened with this procedure. A forehead lift targets in the removal of the signs of aging by raising the drooping eyebrows and then removing the forehead wrinkles.
Chin augmentation helps in making the chin more prominent by creating a better balance in the facial features either by using a prosthetic implant or by deploying the chin bone. This procedure is often combined with rhinoplasty.
Cheek augmentation is also a cosmetic procedure that makes the cheeks appear even more prominent by using implants.
Skin rejuvenation with laser resurfacing, Botox and filler treatment helps in the improvement of the overall appearance of the people undergoing the procedure. These are least invasive procedures and helps to treat acne, scars, wrinkles, etc. Chemical peels are three types- light, medium and deep depending on the intensity of the peels. A light or superficial peel such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or fruit acids help to treat the outermost layer of the skin. This involves the least recovery time. A medium peel includes tri-chloro-acetic acid penetrates the dermis layer of the skin which is at a greater depth than the light peels. The recovery period is remarkable and it may take several days for complete recovery. Finally, the deep peels penetrate the deepest and have the longest recovery time.
There are other soft FDA approved dermal fillers that can be used to reduce the wrinkles, lines, and scars to enhance the soft tissue contours. They are mostly used to treat line and wrinkles and bring a fuller appearance on the lips, cheeks, etc.
Botox is also a toxin that is produced by a bacteria and is FDA approved and is also used to treat wrinkles and facial lines.
A Brief History of Cosmetic Surgery
In the early 600 BC, there was a Hindu surgeon who first reconstructed a nose by using a piece of cheek. By 1000 AD, rhinoplasty was soon considered as common procedure especially when the barbaric custom of cutting off the nose and upper lips of one’s enemies started. In the 16th century, Gaspare Tgliacozzi as soon popular as the “father of plastic surgery” because he was able to reconstruct noses by cutting off the nose with a sword and then transfers flaps from the skin of the upper arms. He also used the same procedure to rectify a saddle nose deformity.
The term plastic surgery was actually derived from a Greek word “plastikos” which meant molding. This surgical procedure for repairing certain facial deformities was first labeled by Pierre Desault in the year 1789. In the 19th century, certain improvements were brought in anesthesia and in antisepsis which made plastic surgery a relatively safe procedure.
Plastic surgeons still kept developing their skills during the Second World War by applying their surgical techniques on people suffering from certain birth deformities or others who have undergone an automobile or other accidents. However, after numerous trial and error, the first ever modern cosmetic rhinoplasty procedures were being performed in the year 1923 and then a facelift in the year 1931.
Contemporary Cosmetic Surgery
In the year 2005, some statistical report conveyed that there were about 10.2 million cosmetic procedures in various places around the globe. This percentage clearly depicted a rise in the number of people undergoing a cosmetic procedure in the year 2000 to 2004. Now, this treatment included various cosmetic procedures like Botox treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast procedures, eyelid surgeries, etc. The top most popular minimally invasive procedures included Botox injection, chemical peel, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and the other surgical procedures includes breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, etc. However, it has also been found that about 90 percent of the total patients who had undergone various cosmetic procedures were females.
It is not women who are found undergoing various cosmetic procedures, men were also marked undergoing several cosmetic procedures to accomplish certain improvements in their appearance and reverse the effects of aging, stress, pollution. The most common and minimally invasive procedures that are undergone by men are Botox injection, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, chemical peeling and laser skin resurfacing. Other popular surgical procedures comprise of procedures like rhinoplasty, hair transplantation, liposuction, gynecomastia surgery, facelift, ear corrections, penile enlargements, etc. Still, men are considered to undergo fewer procedures than a woman.
Cosmetic Surgeons Whom You Should Choose
It is very important to choose a surgeon who is qualified and is accredited by a professional board surgeon. There are numerous medical spa centers that offer various cosmetic services but the lack of experience and skill in their practice may complicate the procedure. So people considering a cosmetic procedure must need to verify the following criteria before undergoing such procedure-
- A reputed surgeon is preferred.
- Verifying the credentials of the surgeon.
- Collect full information about the procedure to be undergone. Gaining knowledge about the pros and cons and its related complications is very important.
What are the Risks Associated with Cosmetic Procedures?
Any surgical procedure will include a specific risk. So the following are some of the other risks that are related to any cosmetic surgical procedure-
Allergic reaction to anesthesia, the formation of blood clots, infection at the incisions, undesirable scarring, fluid accumulation under the skin, bleeding, numbness, etc.
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