Cosmetic surgery refers to a surgical procedure undertaken to reshape and change the appearance of a body part. It may change the structure, position, colour or texture of a body part or feature and is initiated by an individual who is unsatisfied with their appearance, rather than by a doctor who thinks the surgery will improve the individual’s health. There are also many other treatments undertaken for cosmetic purposes which do not involve surgery, but change the structure of body tissues. These are known as non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Unlike the other major type of plastic surgery (reconstructive surgery), cosmetic surgery is undertaken for aesthetic rather than health reasons. It involves operating on healthy body parts, to change their appearance with the aim of improving an individual’s self-esteem and satisfaction with their appearance. While some procedures may also increase bodily function or reduce ill effects such as pain, cosmetic surgery procedures have the primary aim of improving appearance
As you consider cosmetic surgery, remember that you are beginning a journey, one in which you should demand expert physicians and quality clinical care. You can be assured of each of our physician’s expertise and passion, while gaining access to an academic medical center with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
Types of cosmetic surgery
Body parts or systems operatedCosmetic surgery
Surgeons can change the appearance of numerous body parts through cosmetic surgery. Some of the most common body parts which patients modify through cosmetic surgery, either changing the size or shape of, are:
Cosmetic surgery techniques and procedures
There are numerous operative techniques used in cosmetic surgery including:
Lipoplasty (liposuction): This involves the removal of fat from the body through small cuts in the skin using suction techniques;
Augmentation: This involves the implantation of devices to increase the size of a body feature (e.g. the breasts)
Body contouring including lifts and tucks: These are procedures in which loose skin is removed and remaining skin tightened to give a more toned appearance;
Reshaping procedures: The contour or shape of a feature is changed. These procedures might involve implants or removal or reshaping of bone or cartilage;
Dermabrasion: This involves the scraping away of layers of skin; and
Hair replacement: Skin with good hair growth is grafted onto bald areas where hair growth is desired.
Non-surgical cosmetic treatments
Non-surgical cosmfetic treatments are those which alter the appearance by changing the structure of body tissues, without surgery. Such procedures may be offered in non-medical settings including dental surgeries and beauty salons. While these treatments do not involve invasive surgery, they nonetheless carry risks and individuals should fully consider the risks and benefits of these treatments before consenting to undergo them.
Non-surgical cosmetic treatments include:
Botulinum toxin injections (Botox): Typically into facial muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles;
Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers include collagen derived from human and cow skin. In Australia collagen dermal fillers include the brands Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast, Zyderm and Zyplast. These are injected into the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles for 2–4 months;
Chemical peels: In which chemical solutions containing phenol, trichloroacetic and alphahydroxy acids are applied to the skin in order the remove the outer layers of the dermis.