Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures
Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures
You may have several
cosmetic surgery or procedure options to enhance or
restore your appearance. Talking with your doctor can help you choose the
option that best fits your needs.
Common cosmetic procedures
- Laser resurfacing uses a laser light to
heat, damage, or destroy the upper layers of the skin. This can tighten the
skin or cause new skin to grow. It is typically used to remove or improve the
appearance of wrinkles, brown spots, shallow scars (from acne, surgery, or
trauma), and sometimes, the appearance of small veins. Tattoos are removed with surgery or a laser that
breaks down the color into fragments. These fragments are removed by your
- Chemical peel uses a chemical solution to remove the
top layers of skin, allowing new skin to grow. It is most often used to remove
wrinkles, superficial skin growths, shallow scars, pigment changes in the skin,
and other skin problems.
uses a fine wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges to remove the upper
layers of the skin, allowing new skin to grow. It may be used to treat acne
scars and wrinkles around the mouth or to treat an enlarged nose (rhinophyma ) caused by
rosacea (facial inflammation and
redness). Microdermabrasion uses a different technique to treat just the top layers of the skin.
- Filler injections are used to
smooth wrinkles or pitted scars in the skin. They are also used to make the
lips fuller. Fillers can restore volume and structure that is lost due to age or weight loss. When injected under the skin, a filler raises or puffs up that
area. This goes away with time.
- Botox injections
use a protein that weakens the muscles of the face to reduce wrinkles. The
effect is temporary, lasting about 3 to 4 months.
- Sclerotherapy reduces or removes the appearance of
small varicose veins and
spider veins. In sclerotherapy, a chemical is injected
into a vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein, which causes the
vein to close.
- Laser hair removal and electrolysis permanently remove
unwanted hair such as facial hair. In laser hair removal, light treatments are used to heat and destroy hair follicles. This reduces the number of body hairs. In electrolysis, an electric current is
applied to the hair root, which heats and destroys the hair follicle. Hair is
not able to grow back in this area.
- Medical tattooing uses tattoo
ink to change the look of a medical problem. For example, it can be used after
breast surgery to create the look of a darker nipple and areola. Medical
tattooing can also be used to darken white skin patches (vitiligo) and scarred
Common cosmetic surgeries
- Face-lift (rhytidectomy) removes excess
skin and fat and tightens the muscles to smooth the face. Improvement is
especially seen along the jawline and in the neck.
- Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) removes excess skin, fat, and
muscles from the eyelids to correct drooping eyelids and remove bags and
puffiness. Surgery may be done on the upper and lower lids.
- "Nose job" (rhinoplasty) reshapes the nose by removing or rearranging its
cartilage and bones. Rhinoplasty is done to change the appearance of your nose,
improve breathing and nasal function, or achieve a combination of
- Breast enlargement (augmentation) places an implant
under the breast tissue or the chest muscle to make the breast
- Breast reduction removes excess breast
tissue and skin to reshape and lift the breast. Women may seek breast reduction
to change their appearance, reduce back pain, and reduce limitations of
activities caused by large breasts.
- Liposuction uses
suction, ultrasound, or laser to remove stubborn fat that has not gone away with a healthy weight
loss diet and exercise. For women, this can be on the outer or inner thighs,
neck, upper arms, belly, knees, and hips. For men, this can be on the waist,
belly, neck, breasts, or back.
- "Tummy tuck" (abdominoplasty) removes excess skin and fat
from the abdominal area and tightens abdominal muscles. When a large weight
loss or several pregnancies leave behind extra folds of skin, some people use
this surgery for a flatter, smoother stomach. As with liposuction, the purpose
of a tummy tuck is to reshape the area rather than to reduce body
- Varicose vein surgery removes large
varicose veins. During varicose vein surgery, an
incision is made over the varicose vein, and the vein is tied off and either
left in place or removed. But newer therapies for vein stripping include foam sclerotherapy and laser or radiofrequency probes that use heat to destroy varicose veins.
- Hair transplant surgery reduces the appearance of bald spots or hair loss by moving hair
from one part of the head to another.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Keith A. Denkler, MD - Plastic Surgery
July 31, 2012
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