Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, more commonly known as plastic surgery, is a medical specialty that targets patients who need either correction or restoration of parts of their body as a consequence of congenital defects, accidents or injuries, or because of the resulting effects of cancer. Many people today, though, are opting for aesthetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures to improve their appearance and reverse the signs of aging.
Initially, reconstructive surgery was developed to help soldiers who were disfigured as a result of war. The realization that many people could regain a more normal life using plastic surgery because of injuries caused by burns or other traumatic events prompted clinical research to better the methods used to restore normal function. There is still ongoing exploration to find new and less invasive ways to help plastic surgery patients recover quicker and limit side effects.
As far as optional cosmetic surgery, the pursuit of perfection is on the rise. What started as rhinoplasty, or a nose job, to correct the shape of a hook nose has become an obsession with trying to get reach an aesthetically perfect look. Surgeries such as breast lift (mastopexy) and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) are a beauty makeover trend with women following their child bearing years, but lip enhancement and hand lifts are becoming more common as well.
What is next on the horizon for plastic surgery techniques? One possibility is the research being done on stem cell face lifts in which adult fat cells are taken from fatty areas and then injected into the face to sculpt it. This is much less invasive than the traditional face lift surgery, but many surgeons believe it doesn’t offer the results it has been hyped to deliver.
Another non-surgical fat removal technique uses radio frequencies to heat up and kill fat cells. This is called Vanquish RF and is not only non-invasive, but it is non-contact. This procedure delivers energy based on the electrical impedance of fat tissue, causing the cells to heat up and eventually die. Since fat cells have lower conductivity that the surrounding tissue such as muscle or skin, the adipose cells are easily targeted.
Another fairly new development is called Voluma which is similar to Botox. It is injected into the face to give more volume to the cheek, cheekbones and chin. As the filler is injected deep within the tissues, it adds support to the overlying skin and restore facial contours.
Mommy makeovers are a trending procedure that restores a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy state. Even though it is mostly done for appearance sake, studies show that people who undergo a total makeover are more likely to maintain a lower body mass index than those patients who elect not to have the surgery, which could also keep the risks of diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease at bay.
The key for any procedure is to find a licensed reputable physician and consider all of the positive and negative implications. Most cosmetic surgeons will advise you on the best treatment plan for your individual needs. Remember: After doing some research, if it the cost of the surgery is lower than average and seems too good to be true, it probably is.