DEFINITION & PREVALENCE
COSMETIC SURGERY ENCOMPASSES VARIOUS PROCEDURES TO ALTER THE APPEARANCE OF A SPECIFIC PART OF THE BODY TO HELP BOOST CONFIDENCE, AND SOMETIMES, EVEN IMPROVE ONE'S HEALTH.
From reshaping the nose to restoring the hair on someone’s head, there are many cosmetic procedures people can choose from, and modern medical techniques have helped make them more precise so the results exceed patient expectations.
According to data released by the worldwide trade association, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in March 2018, cosmetic surgeries continue to increase in popularity. Facelifts are leading the pack, showing a staggering 21.9% increase in this past year, and a 21.8% spike within the past five years. Liposuction, blepharoplasty, upper arm lifts and breast lifts are among the most popular cosmetic surgeries. Tummy tucks and breast augmentations are also common.
This resource guide explores different types of procedures available, as well as key benefits, the reasons people may be interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery, and more.
TYPES OF COSMETIC PROCEDURES & BENEFITS
Cosmetic surgical procedures were developed to target a specific issue or area of the body that a patient would like to improve upon.
Some cosmetic procedures include, but are not limited to:
A breast augmentation involves enlarging a patient’s breasts by using saline or silicone implants or transferring fat from other areas of the body. Women undergo breast augmentations to not only increase the size of their breasts, but to also correct the shape and/or make them more proportional. The goal is to do all of this, while still achieving a natural look.
A breast lift is performed to raise the breasts, while a basic augmentation may
involve reshaping the breasts altogether.
There are other reasons a woman may want breast augmentation. For example, as David Pincus, MD explains: Post-pregnancy women who are no longer going to have children often come in interested in a breast augmentation and lift, as well as other procedures—a combination often referred to as a 'Mommy Makeover.' (See below.) A breast lift is performed to raise the breasts, as a basic augmentation does not do so.
Breast implant revision surgery amends a previous procedure that a patient is unhappy with. This doesn’t necessarily mean a mistake was made during the initial augmentation—there are instances in which patients aren’t satisfied with the size of the implants used and undergo a breast revision for a result that better aligns with their expectations, for example. However, just as with any other cosmetic procedure, these expectations must be realistic—oftentimes, cosmetic surgeons will discuss this with their patients beforehand.
The amount of time it will take to recover from breast revision surgery is about the same as a breast augmentation—several weeks to months. This is on a case-by-case basis, however, as every patient is different. Consequently, it’s important for patients to make follow-up appointments with their surgeons to ensure they’re healing correctly and no issues have arisen.
A breast reduction intends to make a patient’s breasts smaller. Many women will elect to have this procedure done as a way to minimize back pain, which large chests can contribute to.
Dr. Pincus points out that when he first meets with a patient interested in a breast reduction due to back pain, he often recommends the chiropractic services of Alan Sherr, DC, owner of the Northport Wellness Center “to see if there is any improvement” in the patient’s condition before proceeding with the surgery.
“If not,” Dr. Pincus explains, “Dr. Sherr, after documenting that, sends them back over to me for the actual surgical part of it.”
People may also inquire about a breast reduction because:
- they want clothes to fit them better;
- they’re suffering from poor posture, neck and shoulder discomfort along with back pain;
- they would like their breasts to be more symmetrical;
- they’re experiencing shortness of breath.
Breast cancer patients may elect to have breast reconstruction surgery to help restore their breasts after undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy. While some have reconstruction surgery right after one of the aforementioned procedures, others opt to wait a little longer in between. Either way, breast reconstruction is a viable cosmetic procedure to consider.
Liposuction aims to get rid of excess fat on certain areas of a patient’s body. Oftentimes, people inquire about liposuction after they lose a significant amount of weight, but are still having trouble achieving the shape they’re looking for. There are other instances in which a patient is interested in liposuction, including when he or she is unsatisfied with the way a specific part of his or her body looks, and exercising and eating right don’t seem to be working. Common target areas include the thighs, hips, belly, back and arms.
A tummy tuck focuses solely on the abdomen, removing excess skin and fat. Similar to liposuction, tummy tuck surgery is a great option for patients who have lost weight. Women who would like to look as they did pre-pregnancy are also possible candidates. However, it’s important to note that they shouldn’t plan on having any more children after the surgery, as it could jeopardize the procedure’s results.
Balding and hair-thinning patients undergo hair restoration surgery to help achieve a more youthful appearance and regain their confidence. This procedure, as Dr. Pincus shares, utilizes “cutting-edge” NeoGraft Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technology, “an automated, hair restoration surgery” that doesn’t involve any scarring.
Although some patients “are very happy” after just one appointment, others require two or three to achieve the results they’re looking for.
Still, Dr. Pincus continues, “We discuss all that in the consultation.” This gives the surgeon a chance to determine if a certain procedure is right for the patient, and gives the patient the opportunity to ask the surgeon any questions he or she may have.
Dr. Pincus will provide aftercare guidelines, which may vary depending on the type of surgical procedure a patient received. For example, a patient is usually encouraged to get a lot of rest, refrain from working out, keep the surgical wound(s) covered and dry, schedule follow-up visits and receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy to aid in the healing process.
Some cosmetic surgeries involve performing multiple procedures at once.
“Body contouring is really anything from the neck down,” Dr. Pincus explains. This includes breast augmentations, breast lifts, breast reductions, liposuction, tummy tucks, Brazilian butt lifts, thigh lifts and arm lifts.
Mommy Makeovers, which are mostly breast and belly work, were designed specifically for post-pregnancy women, who again, are done having children and need some assistance with getting their pre-baby bodies back. Breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tucks are just a few techniques often incorporated into this surgery.
TYPES OF NON-SURGICAL PROCEDURES
BOTOX® injections, which utilize botulinum toxin, aim to reduce fine lines and wrinkles specifically present on a patient’s face. The forehead, around the eyes and in between the brows are common injection areas.
Dermal fillers are similar to BOTOX®, as they work to eliminate wrinkles. For instance, Voluma® by Juvéderm®, which is also used on the face, intends to make a patient’s cheeks fuller. Radiesse®, another type of filler, can be used to revitalize the appearance of a patient’s hands.
HOW TO CHOOSE A COSMETIC SURGEON
There are many board-certified cosmetic surgeons people can go to, whether on Long Island or elsewhere. As a result, it can be difficult to choose one, especially if you don’t know exactly what qualifications to look for.
Here are several to keep mind:
- Make sure the surgeon has a long history performing the procedure you’re interested in, and at a reputable cosmetic surgery practice.
- It’s helpful if he or she has received positive reviews from past patients.
- An exceptional cosmetic surgeon will also provide you with as much information as possible about any and all procedures. He or she should take the time to explain the benefits, risks, possible side effects, and pricing.
- You shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision about undergoing any type of cosmetic procedure by a surgeon. If you notice he or she making you feel like you need to schedule your appointment as soon as possible, consider going elsewhere.
Dr. Pincus and the Northport Wellness Center collaborate to assist patients in looking and feeling their best. Contact Dr. Pincus if you’re interested in learning more about any of the aforementioned procedures.