We all know that what we are from the inside is more important than how we look, but our appearance can effect how we feel about ourselves. Any unwanted feature can make us less confident and self-conscious, whether it exists from birth or comes with age.
What is Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery also known as ‘aesthetic’ surgery is all about making us not only look better, but feel better as well by improving self-confidence and self-esteem. It is an essential part of plastic surgery, where plastic surgeons use cosmetic surgery principles to improve overall appearance.
There are two types of cosmetic surgery:
Rejuvenation focuses on minimizing the effects of aging. This is for people with a strong self-image who are bothered by how their looks are changing and they’d like to improve their looks. The aging but young at heart among us know how depressing it can be to start looking old. Then there are factors like the genes, Sun and gravity that drive the aging process. As the tissue loses elasticity, gravity pulls downward, resulting in wrinkles, bags, jowls and pouches. No medicines, creams or magic potions can bring the skin back to its youthful contours. The only magic that can be performed lies in the hands of the plastic or cosmetic surgeon who can tighten the tissues enough to fit the frame again.
Source : flickr
Alteration involves changing the size or shape of the face or body. For people born with something they are not happy with, a possible cosmetic flaw that has diminished their self-esteem over time. Cosmetic surgery is very common and can be approached just as you would other physical problems. Problems like a big nose, small chin, underdeveloped breasts or huge breasts and many such problem areas can be rectified through cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Source : flickr
Cosmetic surgery can improve almost all the body parts. Here are just some of the more common cosmetic surgery procedures that people get done:
- Rhinoplasty or nose surgery
- Eyelid surgery
- Ear surgery
- Brow lift
- Facial implants
- Body contouring
- Tummy tuck
- Breast augmentation
- Breast lift
- Breast implants
- Breast reduction
- Breast reconstruction
- Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
- Skin resurfacing
Cosmetic Surgery Options
There are several options in cosmetic surgery to change your face or body. Be open about what you want when you discuss with your surgeon, but be willing to listen to their recommendations. Often a less invasive procedure may work as well as a more involved surgery.
Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Source : flickr
For many, the method of choice has shifted from the more traditional open surgery to the less invasive techniques. Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are simple non-surgical treatments done with the aid of a viewing scope and special surgical instruments. The surgeon performs surgery using the scope and makes several tiny openings, without making a large incision.
These procedures can remove unwanted hair, even out skin pigmentation, reduce facial lines etc. But just because cosmetic procedures like chemical skin peels, dermal fillers, collagen fillers, botulimum toxin injections, microdermabrasion, laser sin resurfacing, laser and ultrasound assisted liposuction do not require surgery, does not mean they don’t hold any risk. You have to make sure you get them performed by a well-reputed surgeon with the highest standards of safety and care.
Some of the major cosmetic surgery procedures also have minimally-invasive options using smaller incisions, and they are meant to treat smaller problems. These include a micro neck-life, micro-lip and a mini facelift. These mini and micro procedures are used many a time as a touch-up that lasts for about five years.
These minimally invasive alternatives usually have less pain, less scarring and the recovery is quicker. The health care costs are more affordable as well. These procedures use newer technologies, such as laser to perform procedures that earlier required extensive surgery and recovery time.
Most cosmetic procedures can now be performed on an outpatient basis either under local or general anesthesia.
Cosmetic Surgery Facts To Consider
Source : flickr
Before going ahead with any type of cosmetic surgery, do learn everything there is to know about the cosmetic procedure and what you are getting yourself into.
Most procedures are not painful and you are made comfortable with an anesthetic. Although, there may be pain and discomfort after the procedure, it can be controlled with medication and will subside in a few days.
This is totally dependent on the type of procedure performed and the job one holds. Most patients can get back to work within 7 – 14 days.
Good cosmetic surgery does not leave any visible signs. It works on enhancing looks naturally. From others perspective, the improvement may often be attributed to exercise, a new diet, or a relaxing vacation.
As far as alteration surgery, such as work on nose, chin, breast augmentation, breast reduction, etc., for most people there can be definitive changes lasting a lifetime. But for rejuvenation procedures, since aging is a natural process and cannot be stopped, the only thing that is done is make the clock tick slower. Procedures like a face lift and eyelid surgery can turn the clock back by five or ten years, and make one look much younger than before.
This depends on how experienced the cosmetic surgeon is. Cosmetic surgeons make every effort to ensure scars are hidden in natural creases and lines, and for a majority of people, the scars fade with time becoming barely noticeable.
While most cosmetic procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, extensive procedures may require overnight stay.
The cost varies based on the procedure performed. Quality cosmetic surgery performed by an experienced surgeon can be expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. You must also take into consideration the cost of follow-up care or additional corrective procedures, if any. Doctor’s advice people to seek quality as opposed to hunting for bargains.
Most insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgery. However, they may do so when the procedure is medically necessary. Even in such cases, they may just cover a part of the expenses. You will have to check with your insurance company before going ahead.
Today, you will find plenty of financing options available for people who qualify.
Consult a qualified cosmetic surgeon to find out in what way cosmetic surgery can help you. Choose one who specializes in the procedure you want to get done. You can even check if the surgeon is certified in the specialty by a board recognized by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery if you live in the United States, or an authorized board in your country. In fact, you can short list a few surgeons and hold consultations with all of them individually, before zeroing in on one.
Take into consideration the possibility of dissatisfaction after any type of cosmetic surgery, as it may not turn out exactly the way you wanted it to. Risks involve surgical complications, such as an infection or excessive bleeding.
Finally, here are some questions you should be asking your surgeon.
Source : wikimedia
Before getting down to actually solidifying your decision of getting cosmetic surgery done, it is very important to sit and have a no-obligation consultation with more than one cosmetic surgeon. Find out everything there is to know and then note down what each one has to say and base your decision on that.
Some important questions that need to be answered:
- Are you a good candidate for the procedure? If yes, why? If not, why not?
- Is there any alternative to cosmetic surgery that can solve your problem?
- How many times has the surgeon performed the procedure?
- What were the results of the procedures performed by the surgeon?
- Would you be able to see some photos to help you understand the procedure and the results better?
- How will the anesthetic used affect you and what type is used?
- Are there any surgical options?
- Is hospitalization needed? If yes, how long?
- Can there be complications? If yes, what are they?
- What follow up care will you get?
- How much will the procedure cost?
- Will there be a need for touch-up surgery? If there is, is that covered in the cost estimate?
Many people get cosmetic surgery done expecting perfection and a complete transformation. You cannot expect to turn into a movie star. While some patients may experience an unexpected and unbelievable improvement, this is very rare; in most cases, a surgeon only advices patient to anticipate improvement and not perfection.