Cosmetic Surgery

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on July 8, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on July 8, 2014

Cosmetic Surgery

For some people, beauty means liking what you see in the mirror and having makeovers to accomplish it.

Plastic surgery can improve your appearance. It can also improve confidence. But it cannot restore your self-esteem if you have insecurities related to your body. Most plastic surgeons screen for this type of emotional disorder and will not perform surgery if they suspect that you have such difficulties. Instead, they will refer such patients for mental health counseling.

Plastic surgery comes from the Greek word plastikós, which means “that which can be molded.” Cosmetic surgery is performed by doctors who are specially trained and certified to perform cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

Considerations Before Deciding to Have Cosmetic Surgery

  • Be sure the surgery will be performed at a surgical facility—an outpatient office with a surgical suite or a hospital.
  • Be sure the physician is approved to practice at a nearby hospital facility.
  • Choose a physician who specializes in the procedure you are having.
  • Look for a surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or another recognized professional organization.

Many body flaws can be corrected, from loose skin under the arms to a second toe that’s longer than the first (corrected by removing bone in a procedure called a “toe tuck”). The following surgeries are especially popular:

Breast reduction, enlargement, or lift

The sizes and shapes of breasts can be changed by removing breast tissue, inserting implants, or changing the position of the nipple and areola. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast enlargement is one of the most popular surgeries.

Liposuction

Removes fat from thighs, hips, stomach, chin, and other areas.

Abdominoplasty ( “tummy tuck”)

Flattens the stomach by removing fat and tightening muscles.

Rhinoplasty

Makes the nose smaller or gives it more pleasing contours.

Ear procedures

Repositions or recontours large or irregularly shaped ears.

Body contouring

Removes sagging skin.

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