More and more often today, people turn to plastic surgery, to correct deformities or to create a more appealing look, whether they have procedures that involve the face, breast, or other parts of the body. You mainly hear about plastic surgery that is aesthetic or cosmetic in nature, but there are also times when plastic surgery is used in reconstruction of damaged areas of the body, as well as surgery on the hands and burn treatment.
Skin grafts are sometimes used in plastic surgery, and skin can be obtained from the patient or from donors. These surgeries are most successful after careful closing of skin so that it follows your natural lines or skin folds. The use of the best possible suture materials will also help to avoid scarring from the procedures.
Cosmetic surgery enhances your overall appearance, through specific medical and surgical techniques. It helps to restore or maintain a natural appearance, and sometimes is used to enhance appearance toward an aesthetic goal. Liposuction, for example, removes fatty deposits from the body, for a more pleasing overall look.
Some of the more common plastic surgeries today include facial surgery, firming and shaping of the abdomen, and breast augmentation. In breast augmentation, the added shape comes from saline, fat grafting or prosthetics. Breasts can also be reduced, if they are oversized, by removing skin and some glandular tissue. A breast lift can be performed, which will reshape or lift the breasts. This is sometimes done after weight loss, when the breasts appear to sag.
Chemical peels are used to minimize scars, wrinkles and acne, including freckles and age spots. These often use carbolic acid and other acids in the process. Lips can be plumped and enhanced, and ears can be reshaped, which is usually done by pinning a protruding ear so that it will be closer to the head.
A facelift helps in removing aging signs and wrinkles from the face, and a brow lift elevates the eyebrows, while it smooths the skin of the forehead. You can also get your cheeks tightened, and your chin augmented.
In some breast reconstruction and that of the neck and head, microsurgery may be performed. This process transfers a tissue piece to the site being reconstructed and the blood vessels are then reconnected. Birth defects can be treated while children are young, since their bodies are not yet fully grown. Surgeries include those to correct cleft lip or palate, deformities of the hand and craniofacial anomalies.
Some people become obsessed with elective plastic surgery, to the point where their original surgeon will not agree to do any more procedures. Some patients feel that they want to become perfect. For most people, however, they are able to see the improvement after any procedure.
When you prepare for plastic surgery, review what your realistic expectations are. Speak with your surgeon about your personal medical history. For example, when you are planning to have a breast lift, ask your plastic surgeon if implants will also be needed, or if the lift itself will give you the desired results. Ask about the side effects and the inherent risks associated with any surgical procedure, and breast lifts specifically. If you don't have much sagging, you may obtain the look you want without implants, which will leave less scarring.
Tom McHanson writes about San Jose plastic surgery plus other medical and health-related articles.
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