Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery that aims to improve a person’s appearance, but it should be approached with caution.
Cosmetic surgery continues to grow in popularity, with 15.1 million cosmetic procedures carried out in the United States in 2013, an increase of 3 percent on the previous year.
Procedures are available for almost any part of the body, but the choice to undergo cosmetic surgery should not be taken lightly. The results are often permanent, so it is important to be sure about the decision, to use an appropriate practitioner, and to have the right motivation.
A surgeon may refer a patient for counseling before surgery if they believe there is an underlying problem that cannot be solved by the surgery, or if the patient shows signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
BDD can cause a person to perceive that there is something seriously wrong with their appearance, when objective evidence suggests otherwise.
Reconstructive surgery is another type of plastic surgery. It aims to improve function and to give a normal appearance to a part of the person’s body that has been damaged, for example, after a mastectomy. This article will focus on cosmetic surgery only.
Types and uses:
A variety of aesthetic procedures is available for different parts of the body.
Women may seek breast surgery to improve their body shape. Mammoplasty procedures may include:
Breast augmentation, or enlargement, traditionally performed using saline or silicone gel prosthetics, and now occasionally with fat grafting.
It may be carried out if the woman feels her breasts are too small, if one breast is larger than the other, or if the breasts have changed after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Some older women opt for this treatment when the breasts being to droop due to the skin losing elasticity.
In some women, a breast enlargement can boost self-esteem and improve their feelings about their sexuality. In some, however, existing problems remain. This is why women are encouraged to undergo counseling first.
Breast reduction can help provide relief from physical discomfort, while the aim of augmentation more often relates to appearance. Breast reduction may also reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are at high 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.
Depending on how much volume a patient has lost or desires, mastopexy can be combined with an implant. While it is similar to a breast reduction, which removes a much greater amount of tissue, mastopexy is not usually covered by major insurance carriers as it is not deemed medically necessary.
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.
Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy, uses thin cannulas, or hollow metal tubes, to vacuum fat from various parts of the body, usually the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, backs of the arms, and neck. Liposuction may also be used for male breast reduction.
Labiaplasty, labioplasty, labia minor reduction, or labial reduction involves surgery of the labia majora or labia minora of the vulva, a part of the female genitalia. It aims to reduce elongated labia, usually as part of a vaginoplasty.
Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” reshapes and firms the abdomen. Excess skin and fat is removed from the middle and lower abdomen, with the aim of tightening the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall.
Facial cosmetic surgery
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, aims to reshape the eyelids. With age, the skin becomes lax, and there may be drooping or hooding of the upper lids, and bags on the lower lids. Eyelid surgery may be functional, cosmetic, or both. It usually involves removing or repositioning excess skin and fat, and the procedure may reinforce surrounding muscles and tendons.
Dr. Rohit Krishna
(Dept. Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery)