Cosmetic Surgery Options -- The Basics
There are many treatment options to improve or change your face and
body. When you talk to your surgeon, be open about what you want, but be
willing to listen to their recommendations. They may recommend a
different procedure to achieve a similar result.
Often a less invasive or more isolated procedure will do as well as a
more involved surgery. And in some cases, your doctor may recommend one
of a number of skin care products or non-surgical cosmetic procedures to
treat your problem. Below is a summary of some of the newer options
Isolated Surgical Techniques
For people with less facial aging, a neck lift, forehead lift,
mid-face lift, eyelid surgery or chin surgery can minimize the effects
of aging and offer a fresher, more youthful look.
Cosmetic procedures to improve the body's appearance include liposuction, breast enlargement or reduction, and
abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck").
Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Surgery
For many surgical procedures, including cosmetic surgery, the method
of choice has shifted from traditional open surgery to the use of less
invasive. Minimally invasive surgery is surgery done with the aid of a
viewing scope and specially designed surgical instruments. The scope
allows the surgeon to perform major surgery through several tiny
openings without the need for a large incision.
These minimally invasive alternatives usually result in less pain,
less scarring, and a quicker recovery for the patient, as well as
reduced healthcare costs. Most surgeries -- from open-heart operations
to vasectomies -- are now being done with minimally invasive methods. In
fact, operations and therapeutic procedures performed through smaller
incisions are becoming standard in surgical medicine.
In cosmetic surgery, minimally invasive procedures use newer
technologies, such as a laser, to perform procedures that once required
extensive surgery and recovery time. Today's plastic surgeons have
available a variety of tools and techniques that make procedures such as facelifts and eye lifts
more accessible and affordable.
In fact, most cosmetic procedures are performed on an outpatient
basis in fully equipped operating rooms under either local or general
Recovery times vary depending upon the procedure, but generally the
healing period is between one and two weeks for facial cosmetic surgery.
In fact, most patients resume their normal activities within two weeks
Correcting Other Cosmetic Problems With Skin Care Products and
Troubled by fine lines and
or unwanted facial or body
hair? If so, a number of skin care products and non-surgical
cosmetic procedures -- many of which can be performed during a lunch
hour --may help.
- Correct the damage of
There are a variety of physician recommended
products available. These products are effective for correcting
aging skin, sun-damaged skin, uneven pigmentation and acne, while
offering superior skin rejuvenation capabilities. Product
ingredients such as Retin-A reverse the effects of sun damage, and
vitamin C minimizes the adverse effects of oxygen radicals on the
skin. Such ingredients have been scientifically shown to have a
beneficial effect on aging skin.
- Rejuvenate tired skin.
microdermabrasion offer state-of-the-art renewal of skin that is
tired, dull-looking or damaged. Patients emerge with smoother,
softer and healthier-looking skin.
- Smooth fine lines. Fine facial lines can be smoothed with
injections, a safe procedure that can often be performed on your
lunch hour. Collagen replacement therapy supplements your skin's own
collagen-and the results are immediate and long lasting.
- Remove unwanted hair. If you're tired of shaving,
plucking or waxing, consider
laser hair reduction as a permanent alternative to reducing
unwanted hair. Laser treatments remove hair more quickly, less
painfully and more reliably than even
The Initial Consultation
At the initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will perform a
detailed history, a physical examination, and a detailed analysis of the
patient's area of concern. Photography and computer imaging are
performed and the results are shared with the patient to give him or her
a clear picture of the planned changes.
Make sure you have a full discussion with your surgeon about the risks
and complications before you undergo any cosmetic surgery.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic, Department of Plastic Surgery.
Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 7:05:27 AM
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, Sept. 2003.
Portions of this page ©The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2003.