Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Surgery Guide

Cosmetic Surgery

What Is Cosmetic Surgery?

You will often hear the terms plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery used interchangeably although they have slightly different meanings. Plastic surgery refers to the whole body of surgery that is designed to change the appearance and function of a person's body. Cosmetic surgery refers to surgically altering a person's appearance for aesthetic reasons. Reconstructive surgery refers to surgically altering a particular area of the body to enhance its function. Some procedures can be both aesthetic and functional in nature, such as rhinoplasty,which can change the appearance of a person's nose while also helping him or her breathe better. Plastic surgery refers to all cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

What Is Cosmetic Surgery?

This website focuses on the most popular procedures. If you are considering having cosmetic surgery, use this site to get started in your research. The more cosmetic surgery patients know about their procedures, the better they will be satisfied with the results.

Cosmetic surgery is usually divided into two categories: surgical procedures and minimally invasive procedures. Over the past 10 years, demand for this kind of surgery procedures has leveled off as demand for minimally invasive procedures has increased. The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery reports the shift toward minimally invasive procedures is caused by money-conscious patients looking for less expensive options after the recent economic downturn. Also, research and science have seen fast advances in noninvasive cosmetic procedures, such as Botox® injections and laser skin resurfacing, which are less invasive and less expensive-and less permanent-than facelifts and forehead lifts.

Surgical Procedures

Surgical cosmetic procedures involve some sort of incision and might involved removing body tissues, inserting implants or repositioning body tissues. The more invasive a procedure is, the more permanent its results are, and the more risk it has of infection and scarring. Choosing an experienced, licensed surgeon will lower your risks for infection and scarring. The 10 most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS):

Surgical Procedures
  1. Breast augmentation
  2. Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)
  3. Liposuction
  4. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
  5. Facelift
  6. Tummy tuck
  7. Breast lift
  8. Dermabrasion
  9. Forehead lift
  10. Ear surgery

Cosmetic surgery procedures have more downtime and a longer recovery than minimally invasive procedures. Cosmetic surgery procedures are designed to be permanent and long-lasting changes to a person's appearance.

Minimally Invasive

Cosmetic procedures that are classified as minimally invasive might involve an injection, chemical treatments or the use of lasers. No incisions are used with minimally invasive procedures. In the last decade, demand for these types of procedures has increased by 87 percent, according to ASPS. The five most popular minimally invasive procedures are:

  1. Botox or Dysport® injection
  2. Soft tissue filler (collagen, Restylane® and fat, for example)
  3. Chemical peel
  4. Laser hair removal
  5. Microdermabrasion

Because these procedures are less invasive than cosmetic surgery, they pose less risk for infection, scarring and other complications. On the other hand, minimally invasive procedures are not always permanent, long-lasting solutions, and some procedures might take several treatments before the effects are evident. Minimally invasive procedures tend to cost less than surgical procedures because little to no anesthesia is used, and most procedures can be performed in the cosmetic surgeon's office.


The benefits of cosmetic procedures are numerous, but the most important one is that the person who has the procedure feels better about herself or himself. Cosmetic surgery can correct birth defects, repair scars from injuries or trauma, and make aesthetic improvements to a person's appearance.

If you are thinking of enhancing your appearance with a cosmetic surgery procedure, do your research and make your decision based on what makes you feel better about yourself, not what anyone else tells you that you should look like.

People who have cosmetic surgery report feeling more confident in their appearance, their clothes fit better and they enjoy a better quality of life.

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