Plastic surgery is a personal decision for patients. Each patient has individual goals for their procedures, as well as unique reasons for pursuing plastic surgery. That being said, some procedures are more commonly requested than others. The five most common plastic surgery procedures today include:
- Tummy tuck
- Breast augmentation
- Breast lift
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a medical procedure that addresses bulges in the abdomen caused by pregnancy, significant weight loss, or natural aging. In this procedure, damaged or loose abdominal muscles are repaired, excess tissue is removed, and the appearance of stretch marks is reduced.
This procedure is common because even with consistent dieting and exercise, lower abdominal muscles can be difficult to repair. Part of the reason for this is that certain life experiences, such as pregnancy or major weight gain, can stretch the connective tissue that holds these muscles together and cause the muscles to separate.
Once this happens, recovering your desired look can be challenging. However, a tummy tuck surgery can repair the damaged rectus abdominis muscles with permanent sutures, leaving the patient with an abdominal profile that is more in line with their goals.
A facelift is a surgical procedure that removes tissue deposits and tightens the skin of the face and neck. Also known as a rhytidectomy, this procedure can refresh the appearance of a patient’s jaw, cheeks, neck, and eye region.
Facelifts are common because they address changes experienced in the natural process of aging due to the body’s decreased production of collagen and loss of skin elasticity. Facelifts can redefine the angles of the jaw, cheekbones, and mouth and may be paired with a procedure that returns volume to the cheeks through a fat transfer.
In consultation with their plastic surgeon, patients may choose between a full facelift and a mini-facelift.
A facelift does not reduce forehead lines or drooping brows and eyelids. For this reason, patients may wish to combine a facelift with another plastic surgery procedure, such as a brow lift, skin resurfacing, injectables, facial implants, or blepharoplasty.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes tissue from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, legs, arms, back, and buttocks. It can be used to address stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.
Every adult has a set number of fat cells that stabilizes during adolescence. Although these cells do not move very far in the body, they can swell and shrink with weight gain and loss.
In a liposuction procedure, fat cells are removed from a specific area of the body. Once removed, these fat cells do not replenish. However, this does not mean that a patient cannot gain weight again after having a liposuction procedure.
During liposuction, subcutaneous fat cells are suctioned out of the body with small, stainless steel tubes called cannulas. There are five different types of liposuction. While tumescent liposuction is the most effective method, other methods may be more or less suitable depending on the patient’s anatomy and goals.
For patients seeking to change the size or shape of their breasts, a breast augmentation surgery can achieve natural-looking and long-lasting results.
Breast augmentations are frequently requested by patients who wish to change the appearance of their breasts or want to renew their confidence after experiencing significant weight loss, a mastectomy, or pregnancy.
Patients have several different options for how to proceed with a breast augmentation and should consult with their physician about the different kinds of available procedures. Silicone implants tend to be more popular because many people feel they appear more natural, but patients also have the option of using saline implants, which have the advantage of making leaks easier to detect.
Patients can also consult with their physician to decide whether they want a round or teardrop-shaped implant, as well as how high in the breast they would like the implant to be.
Other patients may prefer a natural breast enhancement, which is accomplished by a fat transfer of the patient’s own tissue.
As a result of aging or life changes such as pregnancy or significant weight loss, breasts can lose elasticity and collagen. A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, addresses these issues by reshaping breast tissue, tightening or removing skin, and in certain instances, increasing breast volume.
This surgical procedure is often requested because it creates a lifted, more youthful appearance.
In a breast lift, a series of precise incisions are made as determined by the patient’s anatomy and desired results. In certain instances, patients may also decide to resize and reposition the areola after consulting with their plastic surgeon.
Breast lifts can also be combined with other surgical procedures, including breast augmentation or reduction. The best approach for any patient will depend on their personal goals, as well as a thorough, collaborative consultation with their plastic surgeon.
Patients should discuss their goals with a plastic surgeon
Patients seeking any of the above procedures should request a consultation with a physician certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
For the consultation, patients should come prepared to discuss their goals, and in the course of this collaborative process, they and their physician can decide on the right approach given their anatomy and desired results.