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A Guide to Plastic Surgery Procedures

Plastic surgery is a branch of medicine that specializes in body enhancement through the correction and restoration of form as well as the function of targeted areas. Plastic surgery includes two major sub-specialties called cosmetic plastic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic plastic surgery involves both surgical as well as nonsurgical procedures that can reshape body structures to improve your appearance and enhance confidence. To be a candidate for cosmetic surgery one should have good general health with realistic expectations and a positive outlook. Remember, plastic surgery should be opted for as a personal choice and not to please someone else’s expectations or match an ideal image. While cosmetic surgery greatly improves self-esteem, it is also likely to relieve depression or other mental conditions.

Specific procedures for cosmetic plastic surgery include: breast augmentation, breast implant revision, breast reduction, breast implant removal, breast lift, fat transfer breast augmentation, gynecomastia surgery, liposuction, nonsurgical fat reduction, arm lift, body lift, tummy tuck, body contouring, buttock enhancement, thigh lift, brow lift, cheek augmentation, buccal fat removal, chin surgery, ear surgery, eyelid surgery, facelift surgery, facial implants, neck lift, and rhinoplasty. There are minimally invasive cosmetic surgery procedures which include botulinum toxin, dermabrasion, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, spider vein treatment, chemical peel, dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, skin rejuvenation and resurfacing, and tattoo removal.

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Reconstructive plastic surgery treats body structures that have been affected functionally or esthetically due to birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma or diseases such as infection and tumors. Therefore, reconstructive surgery aims at improving function and helps people of all agegroups, be it a child with a congenital anomaly, or a young adult involved in an accident, or an older person with aging problems. Specific procedures for this type of surgery include breast reconstruction, breast reduction, cleft lip and palate repair, giant nevi removal, gender confirmation surgeries, hand surgery, lymphedema treatment, microsurgery, migraine surgery, panniculectomy, scar revision, septoplasty, skin cancer removal, and tissue expansion.

According to the plastic surgery statistics report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2017, the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures performed are in the order of breast augmentation at the top, followed by liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and tummy tuck. Botulinum toxin injections were the topmost among the minimally invasive cosmetic procedures with above 7.2 million injections, followed by soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion. The top 5 reconstructive surgical procedures include tumor removal, laceration repair, maxillofacial surgery, scar revision, and hand surgery. These statistics make us believe that flawless physical appearance has gained a great deal of importance in people’s life.

Self-esteem has always been linked to body image and there have been many studies regarding the quality of life following a plastic surgery procedure. These studies have shown that there was a psychological benefit with improved body image and self-confidence to participate in social activities after surgery.

However, as with any other surgery, plastic surgery has risks associated with general anesthesia, possible infection following the procedure and limitations as you may not be satisfied with the results. Though it is not a feasible option for all, it does have a great positive effect on most people in various ways, for example, people who have had liposuction have been able to be active in fitness activities. Women who had breast reduction procedure have experienced relief from neck and back pain that was associated with having large sized breasts. The modern advancements in plastic surgery techniques help your scars or other physical flaws completely disappear or leave these inconspicuous.

The Pointers that Help You Prepare for Your Plastic Surgery Include

  • Discuss with your surgeon about the risks, benefits, and expectations of the procedure that you will be undergoing along with the type of anesthesia and recovery time involved.
  • Let your surgeon know about your regular medications (over-the-counter and prescription medicines), dentures or any prosthetics, prior chronic illnesses and procedures, and allergies.
  • Avoid drinking and eating for a certain period of time your surgeon advises before and after surgery.
  • Ensure that you do not wear any make-up, nail polish, eye contacts and leave all valuables and jewelry at home on the day of surgery.
  • Discuss postoperative instructions including dressings, medications, and follow-up.
  • Make sure you have your surgery bills covered by your insurance carrier as most cosmetic plastic surgical procedures don’t get covered by most carriers.

The ultimate goal of plastic surgery is to create a physical appearance that boosts confidence in people and makes their lives happier.