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Cosmetic surgery is one form of plastic surgery. The other form is reconstructive surgery, which differs greatly from cosmetic surgery procedures. Usually, cosmetic surgery is an elective surgery. In other words, an individual undergoing a cosmetic surgical procedure is doing so because they desire to change in some way the normal structure or appearance of their face or body. A decision to undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure is an important decision, usually made to address a desire to improve appearance and self esteem.
Unlike cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery is usually performed to address abnormal facial or physical structures, whether these abnormalities are the result of congenital defects, tumors, disease, trauma, or developmental abnormalities. The number of cosmetic surgical procedures carried out worldwide has been growing in number for many years. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has been collecting statistics regarding the incidence of cosmetic procedures since 1997, and reports that the number of cosmetic procedures has increased 457 percent over the past 10 years. The most popular surgical cosmetic procedure over this time is liposuction, whereas the most often performed non-surgical cosmetic procedure are botox injections. Ninety one percent of cosmetic procedures were performed on women.
There are numerous procedures included under the heading of cosmetic surgery. Virtually any part of the face or body can be altered cosmetically, and some of the most popular procedures are explained below.
Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures
Botox® is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in America. The goal with botox injections is to temporarily eliminate or reduce wrinkles or lines, including crow's feet, frown lines and forehead creases. In this cosmetic procedure, botulinum toxin is injected into predetermined facial areas. The injections temporarily paralyze the facial muscles that cause wrinkles and lines. This cosmetic procedure is believed to be most effective in reducing the lines and wrinkles associated with the specific facial muscles that expand and contract with facial expressions, such as squinting or frowning. Botox injections are a temporary fix and are typically repeated every 3-4 months. There are currently studies underway to examine the possible effectiveness of cosmetic Botox treatments to reduce excessive sweating, facial muscle spasms, and migraines.
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that is used to reduce wrinkle lines, crow's feet, acne scars and age spots. In this cosmetic procedure, a small hand instrument that emits crystals is used to 'polish' the skin. This procedure stimulates the production of collagen and skin cells, combating the long term effects or sun exposure and age. A typical microdermabrasion session lasts for thirty minutes to one hour, and is usually carried out 3 to 12 times at two to three week intervals.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning are similar methods of scraping the facial skin's top layers with the goal of smoothing out surface irregularities. Dermabrasion is often used to remove keratoses or facial scars. Dermaplaning is typically employed to smooth facial skin that has been scarred due to acne. These procedures can be used on the entire facial surface or smaller sections as required.
Surgical Cosmetic Procedures
Called augmentation mammoplasty, this procedure augments the size and shape of the breasts. It gives women the power to enlarge breast size, to increase breast size after a natural reduction post pregnancy, and to balance out breasts of different sizes. Breast augmentation is also employed as a reconstructive technique post breast surgery. The surgery involves the insertion of a breast implant, a saline or silicone gel filled silicone shell, placed behind the breast.
The medical term for breast lift is mastopexy. This surgery enables women to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Factors including age, pregnancy, gravity, and nursing can all result in the breast losing elasticity and firmness. The outcome of breast lift surgery is not permanent. The reality is that gravity always overcomes the results of this surgery over time. Another outcome of breast lift surgery is to reduce the size of the areola - the darker skin that surrounds the nipple.
Called rhytidectomy, face lift surgery does not reverse the aging process, but it helps 'set the clock back'. Face lift surgery begins with the removal of fat from the face, the tightening of underlying facial muscles, followed by redraping of skin over the face and neck. This surgery can successfully address the facial effects of stress, age, sun exposure, and gravity. It removes the fat deposits around the neck, jowls, and creases that age causes between the mouth and nose.
Liposuction resculpts various body parts by removing excess fat. It if most often performed on areas such as the hips, buttocks, abdomen, thighs, upper arms, and chin. These areas typically don't respond well to weight loss efforts. A variety of liposuction techniques are available today, including ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique. Plastic surgeons determine the best technique to be used depending on the area of the body to be treated, the best possible outcomes and the least amount of recovery time possible. The cost also depends not just on the technique to be used but also with what part of the body to be treated. Like for example, actual tumescent liposuction cost depends on which part you are targeting.
The medical term for tummy tuck is abdominoplasty. It is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. Tummy tucks can significantly reduce the appearance and size of a protruding abdomen, however, the procedure does leave a scar, the size of which depends on the original extent of the problem.
The above outline lists only the most common and popular cosmetic surgery procedures. Over the years, almost any and every part of the body can be altered using various forms of cosmetic surgery. Examples include, camouflage cosmetics, browlifts, chemical peels, eyelid surgery, ear surgeries, hair replacement, spider vein removal, and nose surgery.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery offers in depth information about cosmetic surgery procedures.
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