Cosmetic Surgery Definitions & Glossary of Terms
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure which may also be commonly known as a “tummy tuck”. During this surgery, an incision is made from hip to hip in the lower abdomen, then muscles are pulled tight and extra skin and fat is removed prior to suturing. Sometimes, it may also be necessary to create a new navel during this process. The purpose of an abdominoplasty is to flatten the stomach for a more attractive midsection. Primary candidates for abdominoplasty are post-pregnancy women, those who have lost massive amounts of weight, or those who find that strict exercise and diets do not reduce fat stores and flatten the tummy.
Acne is a bothersome condition which affects men and women equally, and can affect any part of the body. However, it is typically experienced on the facial skin. Severe acne can result in permanent scarring. The majority of acne experienced may be due to hormonal changes such as pregnancy or post-pregnancy, stopping the use of birth control pills, puberty, or normal fluctuations experienced in the menstrual cycle. Acne may also present itself when the skin is not properly cared for, or when certain foods are consumed in mass quantities. Chocolate may be a culprit, as well as naturally oily skin.
Acne scars are permanent remnants from severe acne. They typically look like small crater-like impressions on the skin, and are extremely difficult to cover with makeup. They will fade slightly and improve some over time, but skin resurfacing such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion is typically suggested to significantly reduce acne scars. Laser treatments may also be available in order to smooth the skin and reduce redness. Acne scars can be very embarrassing and will take many years to improve without the added assistance of cosmetic procedures. To prevent major scarring, it is suggested that acne sufferers refer to a skin care professional.
Acne vulgaris is the most common type of acne, and usually involves comedones. Causes are typically blocked follicles, and increased sebum production due to increased androgen levels. This is why many pubescent teens fall victim to acne vulgaris. It may also encourage the growth of bacteria, leading to inflammation and lesions in the dermis layer of the skin. This condition can result in redness, scarring and discoloration with severe cases. Acne is largely hereditary, but may also be connected to diet, varying hormone levels, certain medications or even allergies and oily skin types. Milk products may also contribute to the formation of acne vulgaris.
Age spots, also called “liver spots” are simply discolorations on the skin as a result of UV radiation exposure over several years. Some may call them sun spots, lentigos or solar lentigines. Colors of age spots range from light brown to red and black, and are always found in areas most commonly exposed to sunlight. These areas include the face, hands, shoulders, arms, forehead or even bald heads. As a person ages, the skin becomes less sufficient at counteracting the effects of the sun, and thus begins to develop age spots. It was once believed that these spots were directly related to liver problems.
Anaesthesia is a collective term for the drugs used to numb an area or put a patient to “sleep” during surgical procedures. Local anesthetic is typically implemented via a syringe, and is directly injected into the area to be incised or cut, but the patient remains awake. This is the same type of anesthesia used by your dentist for oral drilling and other procedures. General anesthesia may be intravenously administered, or via a gas mask. This medication will put the patient to sleep completely for major procedures so that they are unaware of the surgery taking place. The patient can not feel anything, and is awakened at the end of a procedure via counteracting injections.
Asymmetry is a general term that may be used to describe any part of the body. Symmetrical essentially means that two things are equal and alike in size and shape. Asymmetry, conversely, means that the two comparable things are not alike in the same manner. This condition may refer to nostrils, ears, breasts, thighs, arms, eyebrows, eyelids, cheeks or jaw lines. Asymmetry is the largest reason for most patients to seek out cosmetic procedures in order to attempt to make the two parts of the body more symmetrical. Plastic surgeons attempt to create results which alter asymmetrical body parts to become more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.
Blepharoplasty may be a cosmetic or functional corrective surgery which alters the upper and/or lower eyelids. Reasons for pursuing this procedure include drooping eyelids, bagginess under the eyes, or asymmetry between the two eyelids. Drooping eyelids can become physically debilitating and obstruct the vision of a patient, and may also make the patient appear older. Bagginess under the eyes is largely reduced for cosmetic purposes, giving the patient a more rested and less “puffy” appearance. Dark circles may be slightly reduced by blepharoplasty, but not completely eliminated. Procedures for the upper lids involve cutting and removing extra skin, or creating a previously non-existent crease. Lower lid operations typically are performed from the inside of the lid to reduce the appearance of scars.
Botox is a common cosmetic drug used to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and lines on the face. This drug is directly injected into the affected area, filling the lines and preventing expressions which further contribute to the development of them. Botox is a neurotoxin, and is the most toxic protein known. The very smallest amounts are used to numb and relax the nerves in the skin, effectively reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Local anesthetic may be used to reduce the pain associated with the Botox injections, and is typically performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Breast augmentation is the process of enhancing the appearance and size of the breasts with the use of silicone or saline implants. This is typically performed for patients experiencing breast asymmetry, either in relation to each other or the rest of the body, or as part of reconstructive surgeries after a mastectomy. Implants may be placed under or over the pectoral muscle, and it is possible to breast feed after having implants inserted. They may need to be replaced after several years due to sagging or even damage. Breast augmentation can be combined with a breast lift or resizing the nipples in some cases.
Brow lift surgery, also known as browplasty or a forehead lift, is a cosmetic procedure used to reduce forehead wrinkles and effectively raise the level of the eyebrows. This procedure may be used for patients with asymmetrical brows where one is higher than the other. Creating a more arched brow is also possible with a brow lift. Typically, the patient is put under general anesthesia, then an incision is cut at the top of the hairline or on the crown of the head. Extra skin is removed and pulled tightly, then sutured for healing. Pulling the forehead skin reduces severe and deep lines in the forehead and between the eyes, creating a younger and fresher appearance.
Buccal Fat, also known as a buccal fat pad or Bichat’s fat pad, is a mass of fat located in the cheek. It is found along the outer edge of the buccinator muscles, between the masseter muscle and the outermost surface of the buccinators. Infants and young children have especially well developed buccal fat pads, but these are usually reduced with advancing age. Buccal fat may be removed in order to further define the cheekbones, or may be moved to contour them. This cosmetic procedure is aimed at creating a more youthful and defined bone structure, which is a standard feature associated with traditional beauty.
Buttock Lift surgery is especially useful for older patients that experience sagging in the buttock area associated with advancing age, or those who experience a flat backside. When exercise and diet do not improve the appearance of the buttocks, a plastic surgeon may suggest a buttock lift for a more fit and younger physique. This procedure may or may not involve using implants to “fill out” the buttocks. However, excess fat is typically liposuctioned from around the buttocks, and injected into the buttocks to create a fuller look. If this does not provide sufficient results, then an implant is typically used.
Cannula is essentially a small, simple plastic tube, usually associated with surgical and post-operative drainage solutions. These tubes may be used to drain excess fluid, lymph or blood from a specific area of the body. After surgery, they are typically connected to a collection bag to catch the drained body fluids, and is emptied accordingly. Most cannulas are able to be removed within a few days of surgery after swelling subsides and healing is well advanced. Cannulas are used on a case-by-case basis, but typically are seen in cases involving liposuction, tummy tucks, or breast augmentation.
Calf Augmentation is a procedure in which implants, either silicone or saline, are used to enhance the size and shape of the calf muscles. Although this is a popular surgery for male patients, females may also pursue this cosmetic procedure. Calf augmentation is also popular in cases of reconstruction after an accident or massive tissue removal for medical reasons. Much like breast implants, these calf implants may require replacement after several years and carry the possibility of deflating with certain types of implants. Patients are put under general anesthesia, and the implant is inserted into an incision under the existing calf muscle.
Capsular contracture occurs most often with breast implants when an extensive immune response is encountered around the implants. Tight collagen fibers form around the implant, separating it from the surrounding tissues, and eventually may even rupture the implant. There are four different grades of capsular contracture, which may cause pain, hardness or even abnormal appearances, depending upon the grade of contraction experiences. Methods to reduce the risk for capsular contracture include placing the implant under the muscle. Surgery may be required to resolve the contracture, but it may also reoccur. Alternative therapies for capsular contracture include massage and ultraviolet therapy.
Cellulite is caused by fat stores most commonly in the buttocks, hips and thighs, and creates a lumpy, cottage cheese-like appearance in these areas. Cellulite is largely hereditary, but anyone with excess fat stores runs the risk of having cellulite somewhere on their body. Liposuction is one way to remove the fat stores causing this lumpy appearance. Other therapies include the use of massage or caffeine to reduce the fluid contained in the fat cells which manifest as cellulite. However, if the more permanent solution of liposuction is chosen, patients must avoid regaining the fat through diet and exercise, or risk developing cellulite once again.
Cheek / Chin Augmentation surgery involves using implants to accentuate the appearance and balance of a patient’s cheeks and chin. This surgery may also be used in cases of reconstructive surgery after chronic illness that required altering surgery or even accident victims. Recessed chins and nearly absent cheekbones benefit the most from these procedures. Some scarring will occur, but will be minimal and fade over time. Results achieved from cheek or chin augmentation are typically permanent. However, if the augmentation is achieved via transplanted fat stores, the procedure most likely will need to be repeated in the future to maintain results.
Chemical peels are used to restore a youthful appearance and improve the texture and color of the skin. They are typically performed on the face and neck, and sometimes the décolletage. Alpha hydroxy acids are typically used in chemical peels, and are applied by many types of skin care professionals. However, other chemicals may be used as well. Careful before and after home care is required to sufficiently prep and heal the skin for a chemical peel treatment. The chemical is applied to the affected area, and causes the skin to blister and peel over several days. This results in younger, smoother skin revealed after healing completes.
Collagen is the main protein found in multiple connective tissues, and contributes to the elasticity and strength of the skin. Cosmetically, collagen may be used to repair the skin of burn victims, in coordination with the patient’s own fat and other skin tissues. Most medical collagen is derived from cattle or pigs, but recent advancements allow for versions from placenta and human embryonic cells. Collagen may cause significant allergic reactions in patients, causing redness and swelling in the affected area. Several cosmetics now tout collagen as an ingredient, though it can not be absorbed through the skin. Over time, the natural reduction in the production of collagen results in less elasticity and sagging skin.
Crows Feet are the tiny wrinkles seen on the outside corner of the eye, usually when smiling, squinting or laughing. They are so named because they look much like the sprawled foot of a crow or other bird. Over time, these may become more prominent and visible when the face is at rest, and causes an aging effect in the patient. Face lifts, eye lifts and brow lifts all attempt to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. Non-surgical options to reduce the appearance of these wrinkles include chemical peels and Botox injections. They are typically the result of smoking, sun damage and the natural aging process.
Cysts are defined as any hard abnormal growth, typically felt under the skin. Most cysts are benign, but may eventually turn in to cancerous tissue if not addressed correctly. Common cysts experienced include ovarian cysts and those found in breast tissue, especially those who suffer from fibrocystic breast disease. This type of cysts is generally the result of excess caffeine consumption or dehydration. Breast augmentation patients may find it difficult to feel or track the existence of cysts after surgery. Inflammation and allergic reactions to any type of implant may also result in the development of cysts formed by fibrous tissue.
Dental Veneers are typically made of porcelain, and are a permanent cosmetic dentistry fixture on your teeth. These natural-looking veneers cover discolored, chipped, uneven and sometimes crooked teeth. Unless they are not cared for correctly, they should not break or crack. New veneers may be needed after several years of natural wear and tear. Veneers are not inexpensive, but can greatly improve the appearance of a smile by only treating the front and visible teeth. These are typically the best option for patients wanting a whiter smile and also need repairs or slight straightening of the tooth line.
Dermabrasion is a popular skin treatment designed to physically slough off the most exterior layer of the skin. The result is smoother, younger looking skin without the harsh use of chemicals utilized in peels. Typically, this procedure is performed by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or licensed esthetician. After an extensive cleansing process, a laser or special sanding tool is used to remove the layer of skin. The procedure can be very painful, and patients have a red, raw appearance afterward. This process is helpful for the reduction in the appearance of scars that are raised or dark in color.
Deviated septum is an abnormal displacement of the nasal septum. This is the area of tissue and cartilage which separates the nostrils of the interior of the nose. Deviated septums may occur as a congenital defect or as a result of trauma from an accident or direct hit to the nose. They can affect the symmetry of the nose, as well as breathing abilities and occurrence of snoring while sleeping. It is possible to correct a deviated septum with surgery, and is relatively easy to recover from. However, many patients will combine a rhinoplasty with the deviated septum surgery and take several weeks to heal completely.
Eye lift surgery is a popular procedure which aims to open the eye and create a younger, healthier appearance. This surgery will not eliminate the crows feet or wrinkles outside of the eye, but will increase the actual eye opening to complement the rest of the face. Patients typically look more refreshed and rested after an eye lift procedure, and healing occurs within a few weeks. However, the complete results are not visible for several months after the surgery. Incisions are so small and strategically placed that they are virtually invisible, especially after fading with time. This procedure will also not significantly change the appearance of dark undereye circles.
Face lifts are perhaps the most popular cosmetic procedure available to create a smoother and more youthful appearance. Wrinkles and fine lines are reduces, and skin is tighter in the face and neck area. Typically, an incision is placed by the ears or the hairline, extra skin and tissue are excised, and the skin is pulled tight and sutured together. Healing takes several weeks, and the patient may experience bruising and swelling. The effectiveness of this procedure largely depends on the patient’s natural skin elasticity level. Results are permanent, but as the patient ages significantly, wrinkles and sagging skin will eventually be experienced somewhat again.
Fat injections can be used to temporarily plump a certain area of the face or body to fill it out and create a more youthful appearance. At one time, this method was used in breast augmentation surgery. Today, fat injections are popular to increase the pouty look of the lips, enhance the cheeks, and even the buttocks. Fat is removed from another area of the patient’s own body to prevent the possibility of rejection and infection. After the fat is injected into the target site, there is some slight swelling for a few days. Over a period of time spanning several months, the body will reabsorb the fat cells, requiring additional fat injections for periodic upkeep.
Gastric balloons are used to reduce the size of the stomach, and thus the patient’s appetite. This removable device is not permanent like gastric bypass, yet still assists in a patient’s quest for extreme weight loss. The patient is put under general anesthesia, then the balloon is placed around the stomach to reduce the amount of food it can hold. The balloon is adjustable to allow for more or less room. Afterward, the patient is only able to eat small amounts of food, which in turn causes dramatic weight loss and improved eating habits by preventing overeating. Results are permanent if eating habits are maintained by the patient.
Glycolic peels are used to chemically remove the outermost layer of the skin, and are typically applied to the face, neck and décolletage. These are the lowest level of chemical peel that a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or esthetician may use to reveal smoother, younger skin. Glycolic peels cause the skin to blister and peel, revealing lower levels of skin that are absent sun damage discoloration and wrinkles. Deep lines are reduced, the texture of the skin is improved, and create a younger appearance. This new layer of skin is more sensitive to the sun, and it is suggested that patients use extreme caution when exposing it.
Gynecomastia is a cosmetic procedure which reduces breast tissue in males. This may also refer to removing excess fat and skin after extreme weight loss, which leaves the skin on the chest very saggy. Some men experience swollen breast tissue or unusually large breasts, and decide to undergo Gynecomastia. Much like breast reduction surgery in women, an incision is made under the breast tissue to remove excess skin, fat and other tissue before suturing. If removing this tissue results in the nipples being displaced, they will be cut and replaced in the correct location. Healing occurs over a period of a few weeks, and results are typically permanent.
Hematoma is the medical term referring to a bruise. Hematomas occur when a blood vessel, such as a vein or capillary, is cut or damaged and thus bleeds under the skin. The vessel forms a clot and eventually heals, but the blood that leaks turns the skin yellow, blue or green. Bruises are common after surgery or any direct trauma to the body. They are usually quite sore, but heal within a short amount of time. Ice treatment may help with bruising and subsequent swelling. It is suggested that patients refrain from ingesting aspirin, vitamin K, or other blood thinners in order to speed the healing process of hematomas.
Hypertrophic scars are considered an abnormal form of a completely natural reaction to injury. These scars are raised and red, but do not grow beyond the span of the original wound or incision. Over time, they typically fade and improve in appearance. Typical cosmetic treatments for hypertrophic scars include silicone sheets, which are an outpatient procedure, or steroid injections in an attempt to reduce their size. Scarring is completely normal when a wound has been experienced, and is simply a buildup of collagen fibers in the area of the opening. Many cosmetic procedures involve incisions which will experience scars of some level, but most plastic surgeons are very educated in how to make them very small or hidden.
Keloid scars, in addition to hypertrophic scars, are considered an abnormal form of scarring. As a natural reaction to injury, tissue will repair itself by forming excess collagen fibers which become a scar. Keloid scars can become very serious, because they can continue to grow indefinitely. These will most often occur on the chest and shoulders, and more often in dark-skinned patients. Sometimes, this type of scarring can be itchy or painful. They may result from acne, surgery or trauma. Common cosmetic treatments for keloid scars include steroid injections and silicone sheet treatments. Both of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic or reconstructive surgery which reduces or reconstructs the labia majora and/or the labia minora of the vulva. Labiaplasty is typically performed to reduce the size of the sets of labia. This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but almost always under general anesthesia. Highly technical lasers are typically used to perform the reduction. Patients will experience mild discomfort and swelling, which usually subsides within one or two weeks. Typical healing times range from three days to two weeks, depending on the amount of reduction or reconstruction performed. This procedure may also be combined with a hoodectomy in the same visit.
Liposuction is a common cosmetic procedure in which unwanted fat stores are removed from the body. This procedure is only performed on patients in which regular exercise and a healthy diet do not reduce the unwanted fat. Liposuction may be performed on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and even the arms. An incision is made, and a tube is inserted to vacuum out the fat. Lasers are used to first melt the tissue to make liposuction a smoother process. Patients will experience bruising and swelling, but will heal within a few weeks. Rare cases report dimpling or uneven removal of fat during liposuction procedures.
Liposelection is a common practice used in buttock lifts, or any other procedure in which fat is removed from one location and injected into another. In a buttock lift, the fat is selected and removed from around the hips and thighs, and injected into the buttocks to create a fuller look. Liposelection may also be used when fat is removed from the thighs or buttocks to be injected into the lips. Local or general anesthetic may be used, depending upon the length and severity of the procedure. Healing times also vary, but most patients only experience swelling and bruising for the first week after surgery.
Mastectomy is essentially the removal of one or both breasts, and is typically associated with breast cancer treatment. This surgery may accompany a reconstruction surgery, or breast augmentation, in order to create a natural-looking bust. Mastectomies may be performed after radiation, chemotherapy or other treatments for less aggressive cancers, or prior to these treatments for more aggressive forms. The goal is to remove any and all affected breast and surrounding tissue, but typically includes the entire breast. An incision is made prior to removal, and muscles are restructured under the skin. The nipple is usually removed. Scarring can be severe, and healing takes several months in order to regain the full range of motion again.
Mastopexy, or a breast lift, is a popular form of cosmetic surgery in women who experience sagging breasts due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, large breasts or advancing age. This procedure is performed by making an incision under the breasts and removing and reshaping skin, fat and breast tissue. Sometimes, the nipples will need to be resituated if an extreme amount of skin is removed in order to make the breast seem more proportionate. This procedure will also be performed at times in patients experiencing severe asymmetry of the breasts. Healing times will vary, but typically take a few to several weeks.
Maxillofacial is a medical term referring to any tissue or procedure related to the jaw. The jawbone is called the maxilla, and is supported by the maxillofacial muscles. The maxillofacial area is altered during face lifts, neck lifts, chin and cheek implants, as well as specific removal of jowls. This term is also used quite often in dental and orthodontic procedures. Maxillofacial tissues relax and sag with age, causing a hallowed appearance. Patients are usually subjected to general anesthesia when undergoing maxillofacial procedures, and healing times will vary from a few weeks to a few months. Swelling and bruising in the maxillofacial area is common with many cosmetic procedures.
Microdermabrasion is a popular cosmetic treatment available in spas and dermatologists’ offices which removes the outermost surface of the skin via abrasion. This procedure may be used to reduce the size of scars, discolorations of the skin, or skin that is significantly sun damaged. Abrasion is achieved with either diamond or crystal, but home versions are also available. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and is not very painful. Microdermabrasion removes damages outer surfaces of the skin to reveal smoother, healthier and younger looking skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are reduced, as well as sun damage discolorations or severe textures. When used for the reduction of scar tissue, it is most effective on those which are raised.
Mini tummy tucks are ideal for patients which do not require major removal of excess abdominal tissue. If the belly is only slightly distended, a mini tummy tuck is usually suggested. This procedure requires a much small incision than a regular tummy tuck, reducing the appearance of permanent scarring. After the incision is made in the lower abdomen, excess fat and skin are removed, and the abdominal wall muscles are pulled taught prior to closing. Only a plastic surgeon can determine if a patient is best suited for a mini tummy tuck or regular tummy tuck. This decision is typically dependent upon the desired results.
Nasal is the anatomical term related to anything in the nose. Nasal cavities, nasal septum, nasal congestion and nasal collapse are all examples of the proper use of this word. In cosmetic procedures, a rhinoplasty may affect the nasal passages, bones and septum due to removal and altering of tissues. Congestion, swelling and bruising are common after nasal procedures due to the delicate anatomy involved in the operation. Nasal drainage may also be experienced. These procedures typically require stabilization and bandages for the first several days, but healing is expected over the course of a few weeks. Full results are experienced after a year.
Otoplasty is a cosmetic procedure aimed at reshaping and/or resizing the ears. If there is asymmetry between the two ears, only one may be altered. This procedure can help with ears that are set too far away from the head, or are simply too large. The cup-shaped skin behind the ears is reduced to bring the ears closer to the head. Cartilage may be removed or reshaped to create a more aesthetic appearance. The ear lobe may also be reduced when advancing age or trauma causes them to stretch and sag. Some patients may have the entire ear removed and repositioned if they feel the ears are not placed in the correct angle to the jaw line.
Pinnaplasty is a form of otoplasty, or ear surgery, which reduces or eliminates the effect of “bat wing” ears. When a patient’s ears protrude a great distance from their head, a pinnaplasty can attempt to pin them closer to the head. During this procedure, the patient is put under general anesthesia. Next, the surgeon cuts and removes part of the cup-shaped tissue that serves as an anchor behind the ear. After removing the necessary amount of tissue, the incision is sutured. Ears are effectively set closer to the head through this procedure. Healing usually takes 2 to 3 weeks, and some swelling and bruising may be experienced.
Ptosis is a term that means “falling”, and can refer to virtually any body part. For example, a patient may have ptosis of the eyelid or ptosis of the breasts. Any falling body parts can give the appearance of advanced age, and many cosmetic procedures exist to attempt to restore the youthfulness of these. Breast lifts, eyelid lifts, brow lifts, face lifts and tummy tucks all address sagging or drooping body parts. The idea of these procedures is to remove excess skin and tissue, and lift the subject to a higher position. Over the years, decreased skin elasticity gives way to gravity, causing ptosis in many body parts.
Reconstructive plastic surgery is a specialized area of practice that encompasses every procedure involved with bringing specific areas of the body back to their original state after trauma. This trauma may include severe burns, illness, injury, or even damage from past surgeries. Many cancer patients, especially those of breast cancer, will undergo reconstructive plastic surgery to recreate and rebuild the bust line. Broken noses may also require reconstructive surgery, as well as burn victims. Skin grafts, liposelection and the redistribution of cartilage may be included in the list of reconstructive procedures. Breast augmentation may be a reconstructive process after a mastectomy as well.
Rhinoplasty is more commonly called a “nose job”. Rhino is an anatomical prefix referring to the nose. This surgery may involve reconstruction of the nasal bridge, septum or passages. Nostrils may be resized, and cartilage may be added or removed. Rhinoplasty reshapes and resizes the nose to better fit the proportions of the patient’s entire facial structure. Support and bandages are required after a rhinoplasty, and patients may experience drainage. Swelling and bruising are also experienced, but subside within a few weeks. Complete results will not be fully realized until approximately one year after surgery. This procedure is often accompanied by a face lift, eye lift or brow lift.
Rhytidectomy, or face lift, is perhaps the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. This may be performed to reduce lines and wrinkles, creating a more youthful appearance. During this procedure, an incision is cut in the crown of the head or at the hairline. Sometimes, incisions will also be placed in front of the ears. Excess skin is removed, the face is pulled taught and sutured. Bruising and swelling is typically experienced over two to three weeks, and complete healing occurs over one year. Rhytidectomy patients’ results include a smoother facade and reduction in deep lines and wrinkles. Scars are very well hidden, and will fade over time.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition which results in redness of the face, neck, chest and arms typically. It may also be characterized by pimples, and may be a permanent or recurrent condition. Many experts believe rosacea may be genetic, and recurrences may be influenced by hormones or climate changes. Some prescription medications are available to reduce the redness associated with rosacea. Cosmetic procedures employed to attempt to produce permanent reduction include the use of lasers. Rosacea affects women three times as often as men. It is commonly mistaken for other skin conditions, and may also produce the appearance of a red, swollen nose.
Scars form most often in soft tissues as a result of injury or surgery as part of the natural healing process. When the body tried to heal a wound, mass amounts of fibrous collagen tissue replaces the former tissue located there. Nearly every wound, except for very minor ones, will result in some level of scarring. Scars may be light or dark in color, and will typically seem to fade or reduce in size over a period of several years. Scar tissue is different from the original tissue in the area of the wound because hair follicles and sweat glands do not regrow there. Scars are also less resistant to ultraviolet radiation.
Septoplasty is a corrective surgery performed to straighten the septum of the nose. The nasal septum separates the nasal cavities, and deviations from this natural state can affect breathing and air flow, as well as lead to sinus infections. Conditions causing a deviated septum may be caused by trauma, congenital defects or botched surgery. During this procedure, excess cartilage and bone are removed, and special splints may be used to ensure the septum heals in the correct manner. Patients can expect bruising and swelling which will subside in 2 or 3 weeks, but full recovery will occur over several months.
Septorhinoplasty is a procedure which combines a septoplasty and rhinoplasty. A septorhinoplasty corrects functional and aesthetic aspects of the nose by removing excess tissue and straightening the nasal septum, as well as reshaping and resizing the visible tissue of the nose. Patients should expect to experience bruising and swelling. However, complete healing will not occur for nearly a year. Some cases will require special splints to keep the new nasal septum in the correct position during the healing process. Deviated septums can contribute to breathing problems and sinus infections, and need to be repaired in order to provide sufficient support for the nose.
Suture is a stitch made with medical thread in order to close an opening, laceration or incision in various tissues. There are several different types of sutures, which may be used for added strength or reduced scarring. Sutures may also be made with dissolving thread or that which needs to be manually removed several days after a procedure. Internal and external tissues may need to be sutured, including skin, muscle, connective tissue and even organs. Most cosmetic procedures requiring surgery will involve suturing at some point. Many plastic surgeons are very skilled at hiding sutures or strategically placing them in order to reduce future scarring.
Tummy Tucks are very popular for flattening the abdomen to look younger and reduce the waistline at the same time. This procedure involved an incision that spans from hip to hip. Excess skin, fat and other tissue is removed, then the abdominal muscle wall is pulled taught. The skin is then pulled together and sutured. Sometimes, if enough excess tissue is removed which also results in the removal of the navel, a new one will be crafted. Patients may seek out a tummy tuck due to extreme weight loss, pregnancy, or advancing age. This procedure is suggested for those who find no improvement through strict diet and exercise.
Vaginoplasty is a collective term for any surgical procedure which addresses vaginal structural defects, aesthetic appearances, or reconstruction issues. Several different techniques are used where tissues from other parts of the body may be used to construct the vagina. This procedure is sometimes employed to tighten the vagina after childbirth, based on a woman’s personal selection. Patients typically experience pain and swelling for two to three weeks after surgery, and complete healing takes place over several weeks or months. This process is dependent upon the expansiveness of the surgery. Vaginoplasty may or may not affect the sensation experienced by the patient in the future.
Varicose veins are the bothersome dark blue and even purple veins that appear usually in the legs with advancing age. Development of these veins occurs due to poor circulation and weakening of the blood vessels’ walls. They appear to protrude from the skin, and may be very painful. Wearing support hose helps to prevent varicose veins and reduce the associated pain. Maintaining a regular exercise program does this as well. Cosmetic procedures that aid with varicose veins include laser treatments and the physical removal of the bothersome vein. Patients are recommended to keep their legs and feet elevated as often as possible to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Wrinkles may be defined as any fold or crease in the skin. They are a natural part of the aging process, and can also appear after prolonged immersion in water. Repeated facial expressions, sun damage, smoking, dehydration and environmental factors can contribute to the occurrence of wrinkles. The skin’s natural connective tissues such as collagen reduce with advanced age, resulting in reduced elasticity and wrinkles. A face lift can provide a permanent solution to most wrinkles, if enough elasticity remains in the skin. Other topical treatments and procedures may reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but may not be as dramatic or permanent.