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This page presents an overview of the different cosmetic surgery procedures. If you want in-depth information, please click on the links in the left column.

Many of the cosmetic procedures described in this section may also fulfill actual medical needs. So if you are interested in undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery, make sure that you discuss thoroughly with your plastic surgeon the procedure you are considering and what you expect out of it.

Please take note that all surgeries carry an element of uncertainty and risk, including the possibility of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. You can reduce the uncertainty and risk by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon and following strictly his or her advice on what to do before the and after the surgery.


Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Procedure Correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy eye bags by removing the excess fat, skin, and muscle; upper-eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if done to correct visual field defects
Length 1 to 3 hours
Anesthesia Usually local with sedation, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary discomfort; tightness of lids; swelling; bruising; temporary dryness, burning and itchiness of the eyes; excessive tearing; sensitivity to light during the first few weeks
Risks Temporary blurred or double vision; infection; bleeding; swelling at the corners of the eyelids; dryness of the eyes; formation of whiteheads; slight asymmetry in healing or scarring; difficulty in closing the eyes completely (rarely permanent); pulling down of the lower lids (may require further surgery); blindness (extremely rare)
Recovery Reading in 2 or 3 days; back to work in 7 to 10 days; wearing of contact lenses in two weeks or more; strenuous activities and drinking alcohol can resume in about 3 weeks; bruising and swelling gone after several weeks
Duration of Results Several years, sometimes permanent.

Double Eyelid for Oriental Eyes

Procedure Creates upper eyelid lines or folds when absent usually in Asians by removing a strip of skin and attaching the skin to the levator muscle that lifts the eyelids to open.
Length 1 hour
Anesthesia Local
In/Outpatient Outpatient
Side Effects Feeling of tightness; height of folds will depend largely on the deisgn of the surgeon and /or the desire of the patient.
Risks Rarely infection or bleeding
Recovery Back to work after 10 to 14 days; no make-up for 14 days. No strenuous activities for 14 days
Duration of Results Usually permanent but sometimes the sutures do not hold well and have to be repeated.

Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Procedure Reshape the nose by reducing or increasing its size and height, removing the hump, changing the shape of the tip or bridge, narrowing the span of the nostrils or changing the angle between the nose and the upper lip; may relieve some breathing problems (may be covered by insurance) : In Asian nose, this is done with Silicone or Gortex implants
Length 1 to 2 hours, or 4 hours for reduction
Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general for reduction
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary swelling and bruising around the eyes and nose; headaches; some bleeding and stiffness
Risks Infection; small burst in blood vessels resulting in tiny, permanent red spots; incomplete improvement requiring additional surgery
Recovery Back to work in 1 to 2 weeks; more strenuous activities may resume in 2 to 3 weeks; nose may not be hit or allowed to get sunburned for 8 weeks; final appearance would be seen in 1 year or more
Duration of Results Permanent

Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Procedure Reduce size of large ears or set protruding ears closer to the head; often done on children between 4 and 14 years old; occasionally covered by insurance
Length 2 to 3 hours
Anesthesia For young children, usually general; for older children or adults, general or local with sedation
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary throbbing, aching, swelling, redness, numbness
Risks Infection of cartilage; excessive scarring; blood clot that may need to be drained; mismatched or artificial-looking ears; recurrence of the protrusion, which would require repeat surgery
Recovery Back to work or school in 5 to 7 days; strenuous activities such as contact sports can resume within 1 to 2 months
Duration of Results Usually permanent

Dermabrasion

Procedure Mechanical scraping of the top layers of the skin using a high-speed rotary wheel to softenthe sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth
Length A few minutes to 1 hour; may require more than 1 session
Anesthesia Local using numbing spray, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary tingling, burning, itchy feeling; swelling; redness; lightening of thetreated skin; acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to produce pigments
Risks Abnormal color changes (permanent); tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies; fever blisters; cold sores
Recovery Back to work in 2 weeks; more strenuous activities can be resumed in 4 to 6 Weeks; fading of redness in about 3 months; return of pigmentation from sun Exposure in 6 to 12 months
Duration of Results Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.

Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Procedure Tighten sagging facial skin, jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, pulling the muscles and re-draping the skin; often done on men and women over 40 years old
Length Several hours
Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient, though some patients may require short inpatient stay
Side Effects Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of the skin; tight Feeling; dry skin; for men, permanent need to shave behind ears, where beard- growing skin is repositioned
Risks Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles that show emotions (usually temporary but may be permanent); infection; bleeding; poor healing; excessive scarring; asymmetry or change in hairline
Recovery Back to work in 10 to 14 days; more strenuous activities can resumein 2 weeks or more; bruising may last up to 2 to 3 weeks; must limit exposure to sun for several months.
Duration of Results Usually 5 to 10 years.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Procedure Firm up the abdomen and flatten its shape by removing excess skin and fat in the lower and middle sections as well as totighten the abdominal wall muscles
Length 2 to 5 hours
Anesthesia Often, general, but in some cases local with intravenous sedation
In/Outpatient Depends on the extent of surgery; doctor may order an overnight inpatient stay
Side Effects Temporary soreness; swelling; change in nipple sensation; bruising; increased sensitivity of the breast to stimulation for a several weeks
Risks Temporary pain; swelling, soreness, numbness over the abdominal skin; a feeling of tiredness for several weeks or months.
Recovery Back to work in 1 to 3 weeks; more strenuous activities can be resumed after 4 to 6 weeks or more; numbness over the area operated on may persist for several months; fading and flattening of scars may take 3 months to 2 years depending on the extent of the surgery.

Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammaplasty)

Procedure Enhance the size of breasts using cohesive silicone gel implants. The incisions are in the armpit and the implants are placed under the chest pectoral muscle. It may also be done through the crease below the breasts and the implants are placed above the muscle.
Length 2 to 3 hours
Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary soreness; swelling; change in nipple sensation; bruising; increased sensitivity of the breast to stimulation for a several weeks
Risks Formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsularcontracture), which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard; bleeding or infection; increased or decreased sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, which occasionally become a permanent condition

The above problems may require surgical removal or replacement of the implant.

To diagnose these problems, patients must undergo mammography or MRI
Recovery Back to work within a 7 to 14 days. Physical contact with breasts in 3 to 4 weeks; fading of scars after several months or even a year or more. Breast massage or compression is advised to be done for 6 to 12 months.
Duration of Results Varies from patient to patient; some may may require the removal or the replacement of the implant

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Procedure Raise and reshape sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning the remaining tissues and the nipples
Length 1 to 3 hours
Anesthesia Local with sedation, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient; in some cases though, the patient has to be confined
Side Effects Temporary bruising, swelling, discomfort, numbness, dry breast skin, permanent scars
Risks Thick, wide scars; skin loss; infection; unevenly positioned nipples; permanent loss of feeling of the nipples or breast
Recovery Back to work within 2 weeks or more; strenuous activities can resume after 1 month; fading of scars may take several months to a year
Duration of Results Varies - gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight changes may cause breasts to sag anew

Results could last longer or be enhanced when breast implants are inserted as part of the procedure.

Liposuction (Suction-Assisted Lipectomy)

Procedure Improve body shape by removing exercise-resistant fat deposits with a tube and vacuum device; can be performed using the tumescent technique, in which targeted fat cells are infused with saline-containing solution with a local anesthetic before liposuction to reduce post-operative bruising and swelling.

Common locations for liposuction include the chin, cheeks, neck, upper arms, above breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles.

For larger volumes of fat or for fibrous body areas, ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) may be used. UAL is a new technique in which an ultrasound probe is inserted beneath the skin to "liquify" the fat before it is suctioned off.
Length 1 to 2 hours or more; UAL is 20-40 percent longer than traditional liposuction
Anesthesia Local, epidural, or general
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient; however, extensive procedure may require a short inpatient stay
Side Effects Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness and burning sensation; for Tumescent procedures, temporary fluid drainage from the incision sites; UAL procedures require a larger incision for cannula
Risks Asymmetry; rippling or bagginess of the skin;changes in skin pigmentation; skin injury; fluid retention; excessive fluid loss leading to shock; infection; for UAL, thermal burn injury caused by the heat from the ultrasound device
Recovery Back to work in 1 to 2 weeks; more strenuous activities can resume in 2 to 4 Weeks; full recovery from swelling and bruising after 1 to 6 months, sometimes longer; the use of tumescent technique or UAL may decrease post-operative bruising and swelling
Duration of Results Permanent if complemented with sensible diet and exercise

Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Procedure Reduce enlarged, female-like breast in men using VASER liposuction and/or cutting out excess glandular tissue; sometimes covered by medical insurance
Length 1 hour or more
Anesthesia General or local
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient
Side Effects Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness and burning sensation;
Risks Infection; fluid accumulation; injury to the skin; rippling or bagginess of the skin; asymmetry; changes in skin pigmentation (may become permanent if exposed to the sun);excessive scarring if tissue was cut away; need for second procedure to remove additional tissue
Recovery Back to work in 3 to 7 days; more strenuous activities can be resumed in 2 to 3 weeks; swelling and bruising will subside in 3 to 6 months
Duration of Results Permanent

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E-mail: luceroplasticsurgery@yahoo.com
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