Style - Plastic Surgery
By: - at August 25, 2013

Top 15 Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

cosmetic surgeryLooking young and beautiful is becoming more and more important, it seems. Almost everyone is aware of the most common forms of cosmetic surgery: breast implants and face lifts. However, did you know that you can also get calf implants? These days there is no part of the human body that canít be changed with a little outside assistance. Some of these procedures, like vaginoplasty, sound strange and out of this world but can vastly improve the quality of life for a patient. Other procedures like laser tattoo removal serve no other purpose than to improve someoneís appearance.

Not only are cosmetic procedures more common now than they ever were before, they are also cheaper than they were before and therefore more accessible to the general public.

15)  Vaginoplasty
Vaginoplasty is a procedure that involves toning vaginal muscles. (Note that, if you visit it, the site has photos that arenít safe for work or children.) It does this by reducing the amount of excess vaginal mucosa, or lining, and tightening the surrounding muscle and soft tissue. This has the effect of tightening the vaginal muscles and potentially increasing enjoyment of sexual intercourse because of the greater friction caused by tighter muscles. Usually, this procedure is done after a woman has experienced multiple vaginal childbirths, which may result in loose, weak vaginal muscles. Kegel exercises might not improve the condition, and so a woman may ask her healthcare professional about trying vaginoplasty.

under the knife

Alternately, it may be performed to correct a congenital disease that causes vulvo-vaginal structures to be damaged or missing. The latter is usually referred to as neovaginoplasty, while the former is often thought of as ďvaginal rejuvenation surgeryĒ. Vaginoplastyómore precisely, neovaginoplastyómay also be part of a trans womanís transition; in this case, itís euphemistically referred to as ďbottom surgeryĒ. A related surgery is labiaplasty, which is often intended to help womenís self-image as far as how they perceive the appearance of their genitals. Most of the time, women report very good results from both vaginoplasty and labiaplasty.

14)  Calf Implants
Calf implants are used to create ďcosmetic fullness in the lower legĒ. In other words, much like a breast implant, a calf implant involves surgery to place a silicone implant in pockets created above the calf muscle. The placement and number of implants are determined at pre-operative appointments. The implant may be placed above the outer upper head of the calf muscle, the inner upper head, or one on each side, depending on the look the patient is going for. Calf implants are intended to sculpt the lower leg in cases when people canít get the muscle appearance they want despite exercise and fitness training. It may also be done to correct muscle imbalances that are due to either congenital or physical defects and in some cases, it may be due to both.

Calf Implants - Before and after

Congenital defects include bowleggedness and club foot, and these physical defects include disproportionate calf development and skinny or ďchickenĒ legs. Theyíre meant to help enhance self-esteem through a cosmetic procedure, and many patients report very good results. It may be difficult to find a plastic surgeon who does calf implants. Usually, they have the experience of having performed hundreds or even thousands of calf implants and know how to shape the implants theyíll use in the surgery. The surgeons also know how to ensure the implants donít shift. The last thing you want is an implant moving to the outside or even front of the lower leg, or down toward the ankle. That would run entirely counter to the goals of the procedure.

13)  Brazilian Butt Lift
Butt lifts are performed in South America because women there love defined, shapely butts. The augmentation done in Brazil and other South American countries frequently uses the patientís own body fat to reshape their butt. It takes a lot of practice to work with fat, though; it can be difficult to remove and place properly, due to its slippery properties. When placed, it can feel like muscle tissue, rather than just more fat. There is a risk that some fat will be reabsorbed by the body and so not have the exact same look as right after surgery, but that may be canceled out by the fact that thereís little risk of rejection, since the tissue belongs to the patient to begin with.

The fat is taken from fatty areas, such as the hips, thighs, flanks, and stomach using a gentle liposuction device. Once purified, the same fat cells are injected into the layers of the patientís butt muscles using a very small incision. A method that involves small drops of fat dispersed through the layers of the muscle, placed near good blood supplies, so the fat has a better chance to survive and thrive. It takes three months or so before the surgeon and patient can see just how satisfying the final results are. This is because the butt swells immediately after surgery and takes time to go down. The women best suited to this wear dress sizes eight to twelve, since they have the fat to spare and are not already particularly heavy in the butt. Smaller women may be better suited to implants.

12)  Cleft Palate
A cleft palate is a disorder in which a baby is born with an improperly-formed palate, either hard or soft. Itís a gap, hole, or separation between the two sides of the palate.

Cleft Palate

It may involve anything from a complete skin and bone separation in the hard palate to a separation of only the muscles of the soft palate, covered with the appropriate skin. If thereís a hard palate cleft, there will also be a soft palate one. Roughly one in nine hundred children are born with a cleft palate, which makes the surgery to correct it relatively simple. Though babies can be fed formula or pumped breast milk using a special bottle, they canít breastfeed properly. However, the mere fact that they can eat makes many people think the surgery is unnecessary.

Baby With Cleft Palate Nursing
Baby With Cleft Palate Nursing

However, in order for the child to be able to speak properly, the cleft must be surgically repaired. The surgery to correct it involves bringing the tissue to either side of the palate together. There are no implants or grafts and nothing artificial is involved. Thatís assuming the child doesnít have a gum cleft, as well. If they do, the palate should be repaired as soon as possible, usually between eight and twelve months old, always after a child is no longer using a bottle. (Bottle use while the surgery site is still healing can easily damage it.) A separate surgery must be performed to repair the gum cleft. That surgery takes place between six and eight years of age and involves a bone graft, since those tissues cannot be moved as easily.

11)  Vein Removal
Vein removal, also known as vein ligation and stripping, involves removing a damaged vein, which prevents complications of the veinís damage. Usually, itís performed on varicose veins, particularly large ones. If the vein causes skin ulcers, itís another reason to have the surgery done. There are contraindications, such as poor circulation in the arteries of the legs. The surgery is simple, a small incision is made, a flexible instrument is threaded through the incision up through the damaged vein, and the vein is pulled out.

Normal Vein to the Right, Varicose to the Left
Normal Vein to the Right, Varicose to the Left

The vein is tied off below the removed part through suture ligation. Any remaining vein should be healthy so that it can continue to circulate blood through veins that still work properly. The surgery is usually done with local or general anesthesia, which means you may be conscious during the surgery. Itís performed on an outpatient basis, since thereís no need for a hospital stay unless there are complications. Within several weeks, your life should be back to normal as regards recreation and leisure activities.

10)  Tattoo Removal
Tattoo removal is pretty common. There are plenty of people who got a tattoo before moving into the professional world who would now like to get rid of it, whether for personal or job-related reasons. Maybe you have a shot at a promotion, but that snake tattoo up the line of your collarbone sometimes peeks out from under your shirt, and youíre worried thatís going to damage your chances. If you do, donít worry: a local professional can probably remove the tattoo without any problems. The most common reason for removing a tattoo is that the person no longer wants a name permanently written on their body. Itís difficult to fully remove a tattoo, since theyíre made through the dermal layer, rather than just the epidermis.

Tattoo Removal Is A Booming Business
tattoo and tattoo removal Tattoo Removal Is A Booming Business

Itís what makes them last. How new the tattoo is, the expertise of the person placing it, and the ink used all influence how much color or blemishes remain after removal. Tattoos are generally now removed using laser therapy. In the past, dermabrasion (essentially sanding down the skin), cryosurgery (freezing the tattoo and surrounding skin to make sure it can be removed more easily), and excision (removing the tattoo with a scalpel and suturing over the area, possibly including a skin graft if it was a large tattoo) were all common ways to remove them. Theyíre still occasionally in use. Now, though, pulsed laser beams are most often used. They remove the tattoo and have little potential for scarring. Itís a much better way to get rid of your Panama memorial then having it sanded down, isnít it?

9)  Repairing Fused Fingers or Toes
Some babies, about one in three thousand, are born with their fingers and toes fused because the skin between them didnít separate during development. If youíve ever seen pictures of fetal development, fetuses have what look like paddles for hands and feet up to a certain point in development. Itís not always detected before birth, though. In some babies, parents choose not to have the fused toes separated because it might not interfere with walking. However, webbed fingers are almost always repaired. Usually, the webbing isnít corrected until a child is at least a few months old.

Pre-Operative Webbed Toes
fused toes Pre-Operative Webbed Toes

By then, they can better handle the anesthesia, and itís before theyíll have started trying to grasp things or use their fingers for much. If there are multiple webbings, your surgeon may opt for multiple surgeries so there are fewer chances of complications. The incision between the affected fingers will be zig-zagged, or Z-like, in shape so that one finger doesnít have to have more skin replaced than the other. The incision is covered with a skin graft taken from elsewhere on the childís body. Done correctly and without complication, the surgery will restore full functionality to the childís hand or foot.

8)  Lipo sculpting
Over the past few years, interest in liposuction has revived. This is mainly because itís much easier to sculpt the body with new techniques than it used to be. Liposuction can now target very specific areas of excess body fat and sculpt the body just as the patient wants. It involves small incisions, and recovery is usually fairly easy.

Lipo Sculpting
Lipo Sculpting
By BestInPlastics (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One version of lipo-sculpting, SmartLipo, is done by using a laser to rupture fat cells, which makes them easier to remove, and tighten the skin over them. Itís frequently used in places like the thighs, arms, abdomen, neck, and chin. It can be used all over with much less recovery time than something like a body lift would take. Traditional liposuction has gotten much safer and more reliable than it used to be. Liposuction is now about thirty years old, and it used to involve simply moving a hollow metal tube, or cannula, to break up fat cells before suctioning them out.

Transition of Abdomen From Treatments of Lipo Sculpting
Treatments of Lipo Sculpting
By Otto Placik (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Now, it involves injecting a saline solution containing and an anesthetic, lidocaine, to make liposuction safer. It does that by reducing pain and shrinking blood vessels before the fat is removed. The saline solutionís bulk makes it easier to separate tissues and remove the fat effectively. Anesthesia for the procedure may be localized or general, depending on your surgeonís preference, the location of the fat to be removed, and how much fat is present. Recovery depends on the extent of the procedure and the individual patient. Patients often feel sore, as though theyíd been doing a heavy workout, and it can usually be managed with over-the-counter medication.

7)  Ocular Reconstruction
Ocular reconstruction is done after a person loses an eye. Theyíre nothing new; the first one, found in a woman in Iran, dates back to approximately 2800 Ė 2900 BCE. Your first appointment with an ocularist will involve you meeting the ocularist and discuss whatís appropriate to replace your lost eye, as well as an initial impression being taken. A wax form of the shape of your new eye will be cast at your second appointment. The third appointment is when the false eye will be painted to match your real one, right down to the veining in the eye.

eye spy

On your fourth visit, the eye will be polished and inserted, and the fit will be evaluated. If all has gone well, youíll get instructions for caring for your prosthetic eye. Six or so weeks later, youíll follow up to make sure everything is comfortable and working well, and you should be done. The eye will be made of medical grade acrylic, rather than the glass itís commonly believed to be, though some are made of cryolite glass. If you havenít entirely lost your eye, you will probably get whatís called a scleral shell, which goes over the damaged eye. It will not replace your vision by any means, but you will have a fairly normal appearance again. Most people cannot tell the difference between a well-made glass eye, and the real thing. 

6)  Botox / Collagen injections
Botox injections and collagen injections serve similar purposes. Most often, theyíre intended to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Botox, which is taken from the botulism bacteria and is the botulinum toxin, is used to freeze small muscles in place when theyíre overactive, causing lines and wrinkles. This is usually done in places like the vertical lines between the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, and the crowís feet on the outside of eyes. It only lasts for about 3 Ė 4 months before it needs to be repeated. That gives you time to decide if you like the effect or want it done again. Itís an in-office procedure that requires no anesthesia and is considered very safe.

Collagen and Botox Injections
botox injections Collagen and Botox Injections

Collagen injections, on the other hand, are injections of a filler thatís made from cow protein. Itís used to fill out or plump up furrows and wrinkles. This is frequently done between the eyebrows, in lines around the lips or to the side of the mouth, or in the lines between the nose and upper lip. For collagen injections, an allergy test must be performed prior to the first injection. Much like Botox, it only lasts for about 3 Ė 4 months (in this case because the collagen is absorbed by the body), is an in-office procedure, and requires no anesthesia.

5)  Chemical Facelift
A chemical facelift, or chemical peel, removes the damaged outer layers of the skin on the face. Unlike a regular facelift, it doesnít do anything about loose skin. The chemical solution used is tailored to be used for light, medium, or deep peels and have corresponding effects. A light peel can help with wrinkles, blemishes, acne, uneven pigmentation, sun-damaged areas, and to remove pre-cancerous growths. The more minor peels, done using alphahydroxy acids or trichloroacetic acid, usually take ten to fifteen minutes to perform. Theyíre done in-office and donít require any anesthesia, though you may need follow-up care or a repeat of the peel.

Chemical Peeling
Chemical Peeling

The deeper kind of peel, a phenol peel, takes one to two hours to perform for the whole face, though a smaller area will need less time. It doesnít use anesthesia and is performed in-office. Youíll need to take about one to two weeks off work and most normal activities for the lighter peels, longer for the deeper one, and refrain from using makeup during the healing period. A peel may be done with or without a surgical facelift or forehead lift.

4)  Breast Reduction
Breast reduction is used to remove excess skin, glandular tissue, and breast fat to bring a womanís breasts more in line with her self-image and body type, as well as to relieve discomfort caused by overly large breasts. Breast reductions are also known as reduction mammoplasty. For many women, overly large breasts cause significant back, neck, and shoulder pain, chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, and frustration. It can be extremely difficult to find a bra that fits, will last, is practical, and isnít incredibly expensive; 38H, for instance, is hard to find in a style that will last.

Breast reduction surgery can help when a woman canít be as active as sheíd like due to discomfort and pain from her overly large breasts. There are risks of loss of sensation of breast, nipple, or areola, scarring, skin discoloration, swelling and bruising, asymmetry, pain, and a need for surgery, among others. Despite the risks, itís definitely the right choice for some women. Many women also elect to get a breast lift done at the same time as the reduction to further enhance appearance, self-image, and self-esteem.

3)  Partial Facelift
A partial facelift focuses on a specific part of the face, rather than changing its overall appearance. The forehead, cheeks, or jowls may be targeted in a partial facelift. One of the benefits is that a partial lift is less expensive. It may also require less healing time. It helps to tone and firm the muscles of the targeted part of the face.

Woman Marked Prior to Facelift
face lift Woman Marked Prior to Facelift

Like a regular facelift, it is surgery and has some risks, such as the same risks of undergoing any anesthesia, scarring, clotting, dissatisfaction with results, and the need to have the procedure performed again. Whether or not a partial facelift is right for a person is a private decision that should be made in concert with a qualified plastic surgeon.

2)  Back Lift
When weight loss and fitness donít help enough, a person might opt to have a back lift done. A back lift is a surgery done on the upper back to help remove excess skin on the upper and middle back and underarm. Usually, this is because of bulges or excessively loose skin. Sometimes exercise and diet cannot get rid of these extra unsightly, little pockets of skin and fat. A back lift will reduce rolls and bulges in the upper and middle back, which brings the back more in line with a personís overall appearance, both physical and mental. It can help with discomfort caused by, for instance, bra straps digging into the flesh. The surgery involves general anesthesia and lasts for one to two hours on average. Since itís an outpatient surgery, no hospital time is required.

Remove That Unsightly Back Fat With a Back Lift
beautiful woman back lift perfect no loose skin Remove That Unsightly Back Fat With a Back Lift

There may be side effects, such as changes in sensation, swelling, bruising, and soreness. Like with any surgery, there are risks, such as bleeding, scarring, infection, and side effects and risks of anesthesia. For one to two weeks, you may need to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling, but in many cases, the patient will be able to see the results right away. Patients may be men or women, but the main qualifiers are poor self-image and discomfort due to lax skin, bulges, and rolls located around the back.

1)  Eyelash Replacements
Eyelash replacements used to be specifically for people who had lost their eyelashes to burns, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, and other medical reasons. The treatment involves transplanting scalp hairs with little to no curl into the eyelash line. These hairs are removed under local anesthesia. Then a very fine needle creates holes in the eyelash line. The transplanted lash is then placed in that hole. There is no suturing or cutting of eyelid tissue; the hole in the eyelash line is small enough to hold the new lash in place as it heals and takes root. In order to thicken the eyelashes, about fifty new lashes are placed in the eyelid.

Working on Eye Lashes After Surgery is Completed
Working on Eye Lashes After Surgery is Completed

Because your new lashes will be scalp hair, theyíll continue to grow, just like the hair on your head, and will need to be cut every month or two. It will be placed so that it curves the same way as your natural lashes. In order to perform the surgery on both eyelids, about five hours is involved. This is because the surgery is so delicate and because the lashes must be placed so precisely. It is something of an expensive surgery, due mainly to the time involved. However, you may well never look back after having an eyelash transplant or replacement done.

Final Thoughts
These days plastic surgery is seen less as a vanity and more as a way to enhance someoneís quality of life. Certainly while getting a cleft palate or fused fingers fixed is obviously something that can help someone get along with their general lives better, the mental benefits to looking the way that you want to look cannot easily be overlooked.





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