Almost any area of the body can be improved or corrected by a plastic surgeon. This diversity in the application of plastic surgery for plastic purposes is seen when you look at the top five procedures performed in 2006. From breast augmentations to tummy tucks, the data show that people are able to fulfill a variety of their goals for their physical appearances through a relationship with a plastic surgeon.
With data collected by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which does annual surveys among plastic and plastic surgeons in the United States, we can take a look at the five most popular forms of plastic surgery.
1. Breast Augmentation
Surgical enhancement of the size and shape of women’s breasts has been steadily increasing in popularity over the years. And with the recent re-approval by the Federal Food and Drug Administration of new silicone breast implants, breast augmentation is expected to continue being pursued by many women.
In 2006, breast augmentation was found to be the number one procedure performed by plastic surgeons. The ASPS reported that 329,000 breast augmentations were done that year.
To briefly describe breast augmentation surgery, it entails a plastic surgeon making incisions under the arm, under the breasts, or under the nipples, depending on the surgical approach selected. Then implants, either saline or silicone, are inserted either beneath the breast tissues or all the way beneath the chest muscles. General anesthesia is normally required, but the surgery is almost always an outpatient procedure.
The second most commonly performed surgery is rhinoplasty, which is the reshaping of the nose. Both men and women pursue rhinoplasty. Typical reasons that people cite for changing their noses are lack of satisfaction with the current nose, correction of breathing problems, or reconstruction from injury or birth defect.
During a rhinoplasty procedure, the plastic surgeon makes incisions – sometimes inside the nostrils to reduce scarring – and lifts the nose skin off its underlying structure of bone and cartilage. To reshape the nose, the cartilage that is exposed will be trimmed and sculpted. Then the skin will be returned and refitted to the new shape. A plastic surgeon usually takes one or two hours to complete a rhinoplasty, but more complicated surgeries can take longer. Once again, this is usually an outpatient surgery. General anesthesia is used, or, in some cases, local anesthetic with sedation is sufficient.
Liposuction is a versatile technique employed by plastic surgeons that is helpful in reshaping many areas of the body. Liposuction can be used to smooth away extra bulges during a tummy tuck. It can be used in areas of the face and neck, or just about any other area of troubling bulges on the body.
During liposuction, a plastic surgeon injects fluid into the fat cells of the area to be treated. An anesthetic to limit pain and a vessel constricting drug to reduce bleeding are included in the injection. Then, very small incisions are made on the skin and tiny tubes are inserted to suction out the fat.
4. Eyelid Surgery
Also known as blepharoplasty, surgery to the eyelids is used to alleviate drooping or puffy upper and lower eyelids. The plastic benefit achieved is a more youthful appearance. A plastic surgeon will make tiny incisions within the natural folds of the skin to hide scars and lift and rejuvenate the eyelids. This is an outpatient procedure done with local anesthetic and sedation.
5. Tummy Tuck
This plastic surgery procedure with the cute name can produce impressive results. For people who have stretched abdominal skin from multiple pregnancies or a large amount of weight loss, the tummy tuck can smooth the torso. Technically called abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck starts with an incision across the lower abdomen within the bikini or underwear line so the scar will usually be covered. Then the plastic surgeon tightens the abdominal muscles into a smoother and firmer contour. Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is stitched back into place.
A tummy tuck is a major abdominal surgery that often calls for general anesthesia. With this cosmetic procedure, a visible scar along your lower abdomen will be present, unlike other procedures that are able to minimize or hide scars.