Cosmetic surgery is a discipline of medicine that focuses on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical procedures. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals.
Cosmetic surgery can be conducted on all areas of the body, including the head and neck. It is an elective procedure as treated areas function properly but lack aesthetic appeal.
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures include:
Body contouring: this includes Gynecomastia treatment, Liposuction, and Tummy Tuck
Breast enhancement: Enlargement, Reduction, and Lifting
Facial contouring: Cheek enhancement, Chin and Rhinoplasty
Facial rejuvenation: Browlift, Eyelid lift, Facelift and Neck lift
Skin rejuvenation: Botox, Filler treatment, and Laser resurfacing
Liposuction is also known as suction-assisted lipectomy. It uses thin cannulas, or hollow metal tubes to vacuum fat from different parts of the body, customarily the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, backs of the arms, and neck. Liposuction can also be used for male breast reduction. The tools involved are standard ultrasound, mechanical & laser devices which contribute to the suction of fat through a tube.
To prevent complications, there is a limit to the amount of fat that the surgeon can safely remove. Liposuction should not be intended as a weight-loss procedure. When performed in the appropriate patient, the goal is to enhance contour and reduce areas of fat deposits.
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a procedure that reshapes and firms the abdomen. Excess skin and fat are removed from the middle and lower abdomen to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. This may be done after pregnancy or excessive weight loss.
Male breast reduction treats gynecomastia, an enlargement of the mammary tissue in men. It may be done by liposuction or with various scar patterns, often hidden around the nipple and areola.
Breast augmentation or enlargement is traditionally performed using saline or silicone gel prosthetics, but now often done with fat grafting.
It may be done by women who are dissatisfied with the shape of their breasts or if one is smaller than the other. This is also considered if the breasts change after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Some older women opt for this treatment due to drooping, owing to the skin losing its elasticity.
While the purpose of augmentation is mostly linked to appearance, breast reduction can help provide relief from physical discomfort. Breast reduction may also reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are at risk of the disease.
Mastopexy or a breast lift involves removing skin and glandular tissue to make the breasts smaller and rearranging the remaining tissue to make the breast appear lifted.
Buttock augmentation improves the appearance of the buttocks by making them larger. Usually, fat is grafted from another part of the body using liposuction. This is known as the Brazilian Butt lift. Silicone implants may also be used in the buttocks.
A buttock lift or lower body lift removes excess skin from the hips, buttocks, and thighs in order to tighten and lift them. These procedures are often combined with abdominoplasty in patients who have lost a significant amount of weight after bariatric or weight loss surgery.
Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is done to reshape the eyelids. With age, the skin becomes soft, and there may be drooping or hooding of the upper lids, and bags on the lower lids. Eyelid surgery may be functional or cosmetic, or both. It usually involves the removal or repositioning of excess skin and fat. The procedure may also reinforce surrounding muscles and tendons.
Surgery can change the shape of the face or tighten the skin.
Rhinoplasty is also known as a nose job. The surgeon reshapes the patient’s nose to enhance the appearance and often breathing too. It often involves reshaping the tip and reducing the bony hump at the upper aspect of the nose.
It can be performed with small incisions that are well hidden, usually inside the nostrils. Surgeons do not recommend rhinoplasty until the patient turns 15 years old, to allow the full growth of the cartilage and bone of the nose.
Otoplasty or ear surgery treats prominent or misshapen ears by surgically pinning the ear closer to the head with sutures, reshaping the cartilage, or both. One or both ears may be treated and it’s commonly performed in children after 5 or 6 years as the ears have essentially reached adult size by that age.
Rhytidectomy is also known as a facelift. It intends to surgically remove wrinkles and tighten facial skin to achieve a younger appearance.
The incision is placed in front of and behind the ears, extending into the hairline in the temple area. The skin is lifted off the deeper facial tissue, redraped more tightly, and the excess skin is removed. The incisions are then closed with sutures.
The deeper tissues of the face and neck may also be tightened. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery may be done at the same time.
A brow lift, browplasty, or forehead lift is done to remove signs of aging by raising drooping eyebrows and removing forehead wrinkles, or worry lines. It is often done with other cosmetic procedures to achieve a more harmonious facial appearance.
Chin augmentation aims to make the chin more prominent and provide a better balance of facial features. It may be done at the same time as rhinoplasty, depending on the measurements taken before surgery. It can be performed with either a prosthetic implant or through manipulation of the chin bone.
Malar or cheek augmentation is done to make the cheekbones more prominent. The surgeon usually places an implant at the top of the cheekbones.
Complications are rare but possible. They include
Less invasive treatments include peels, fillers, injections, grafting, and laser treatment.
Chemical peels help treat acne, pockmarks, scars, or wrinkles. A number of active agents are used for this.
A light or superficial peel uses Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids to treat the outermost layers of the skin. Since the treatment is not as deep as with some other peels, the recovery time is minimal.
A medium peel usually involves TCA (tri-chloroacetic acid) of various concentrations. It penetrates the dermis or deep layer of the skin to a greater depth than the light peels. The recovery period and pain are more than the lighter peels. Redness and flaking can persist for a few days or weeks.
A deep peel or phenol peel penetrates the skin to the deepest extent. Therefore, it has the highest impact on resurfacing the skin, but it also has the longest recovery time and can causing scarring and skin lightening.
Chemical peels have been shown to be effective for both light and darker skin types.
Botox or Botulinum toxin is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), first approved by the FDA in the 1980s for muscle spasms. It is commonly used to treat wrinkles & facial creases. It works by blocking the signal from nerves to the muscles which are injected. The injected muscle can no longer contract or tighten as forcefully as before and this results in a controlled relaxation of the muscles. It is used for the treatment of frown lines on the forehead, crow’s feet, or lines around the eye, and axillary hyperhidrosis, or increased sweating of the armpits.
Soft tissue fillers or dermal fillers are medical device implants used to help create a smoother and fuller appearance in the face. They can be used to treat nasolabial folds, cheeks, and lips, and to increase the volume of the back of the hand. They can reduce wrinkles, lines, and scars, and augment soft tissue contours. These are not permanent, as they are degraded by the body, so repeat treatments might be necessary to maintain the effect.
Lasers and light-based facial treatment also known as facial laser resurfacing or laser skin treatment can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and abnormal pigmentation, such as sunspots. The treatment uses concentrated, pulsating beams of light. A variety of laser types are used and they vary in aggressiveness and downtime. It may take several sessions to experience results.
Loss of Hair may occur due to several factors. It can be temporary or permanent.
Hair loss can be a result of:
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss. Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Anyone can lose hair on their head but it’s more common in men.
Most often, surgery can renew hair growth for those suffering from hair loss.
Hair transplant is a type of cosmetic surgery which can help restore hair growth.
Tiny hair follicle grafts are obtained from the back of the scalp, where hair growth tends to be denser. These are transplanted with tiny incisions to the areas of the scalp that is affected by hair loss.
Patients may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. After 6 weeks, the transplanted hair will fall out but about 3 months later new hair will appear.
Anyone who is considering cosmetic surgery should stop smoking or using tobacco products few months before the procedure as they can hinder wound healing.
Any surgery has a potential risk of complications. You must seek immediate medical attention if you notice the following symptoms shortly after surgery:
Any decision to consider cosmetic surgery and implants should be discussed with your primary health care provider.