Popular Cosmetic Surgery
Lipoplasty, sometimes called body sculpting, is a way to remove stubborn pockets of fat, like "saddle bags" and "love handles," that don't conform to your ideal body image. The surgeon simply vacuums out the fat through a small incision. Afterward there will be swelling, bruising, and perhaps some numbness in the area you had suctioned. You may feel well enough to go back to work a few days after the operation, depending on how much fat was removed. Costs across the U.S. vary but start around $2,000.
Eyelid surgery (called blepharoplasty) reshapes your eyelids. It is done to remove bagginess and tighten lose skin around the eyelids, but doesn't remove fine wrinkle lines. You will have some swelling and bruising afterward. Sometimes the swelling doesn't go down for a week or two. The bruises usually go away in a week to 10 days. Your vision may be blurry for days after the operation, and you may tear up easily, or have dry eyes. Costs start around $2,000 but can exceed $4,000 depending on the surgeon and the amount of reshaping needed.
Breast implants are saline-filled bags slid in between your breast tissue and your chest muscles, or between your chest muscles and your chest wall. You should be able to get out of bed a day or two after the surgery is done, but you probably won't be able to bathe for three to seven days. A few days to a week after the operation, you may feel well enough to return to work, but you shouldn't do any vigorous exercise for two to three weeks. The cost is around $3,000 but again varies by surgeon and location.
A surgeon can reshape your nose just about any way you like. This is done by removing skin and altering the structure of your nose -- the bone and cartilage. After a nose job, you'll want to stay put for a day or two. Bruising and swelling is worst in the first three days. The swelling may not go down completely for several weeks. Most of the bruising disappears in about a week. You should be back to normal within three weeks. The cost is around $4,000 and varies by surgeon and location.
The skin of your face tends to sag and fold as you age. A facelift stretches the skin up toward the scalp, tightening and smoothing it. After the surgery, you will have swelling and bruising. The bruising fades in about two weeks, but the swelling may last longer. You may also have some numbness in your face, which can last several weeks. You should be able to get back into your normal routine about two weeks after the operation. During the first few days of recovery, you shouldn't do much at all, and you should stay out of the sun. A facelift runs about $5,000 and up.
Botox injections (botulinum toxin) are used to smooth frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The procedure paralyzes the muscles in the forehead, so you will have decreased movement of these muscles. There's no major recovery involved. You may have some swelling, bruising, and numbness, but most people just get the injections and go on their way. The results are not permanent, however. You need to have injections every three to four months. Botox injections usually range from about $300 to $400 dollars per treatment but may be higher in certain areas of the country.
Originally published April 18, 2002
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, April 2002
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