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Home » Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery – An Overview

Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery – An Overview

Cosmetic and plastic surgery are surgical procedures designed to improve the appearance of various parts of the body. These procedures are becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people opting for them each year. This article will provide an overview of the most common types of cosmetic and plastic surgery, their benefits and risks, and the factors to consider before undergoing any of these procedures.

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a type of surgery that involves reconstructing or repairing the body, usually after an injury, illness, or birth defect. It can also be used to improve the appearance of a body part.

Popular plastic surgery procedures

Some of the most common plastic surgery procedures include:

  1. Breast reconstruction
  2. Cleft lip and palate repair
  3. Burn repair surgery
  4. Scar revision surgery
  5. Hand surgery
  6. Microsurgery

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery, also known as aesthetic surgery, is a type of plastic surgery that aims to enhance the appearance of the body through surgical procedures. It can be performed on any part of the body, including the face, breasts, buttocks, and abdomen.

Popular cosmetic surgery procedures

Some of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures include:

  1. Breast augmentation
  2. Rhinoplasty (nose job)
  3. Liposuction
  4. Facelift
  5. Tummy tuck
  6. Botox injections
  7. Eyelid surgery
  8. Brazilian butt lift

Factors to Consider Before Undergoing Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery

Before undergoing any cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure, there are several factors to consider, including:

  1. The qualifications and experience of the surgeon
  2. The potential risks and complications of the procedure
  3. The cost of the procedure and whether insurance covers it
  4. The recovery time and the impact it may have on daily activities
  5. Realistic expectations for the results of the procedure

Types of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeries

Cosmetic Surgeons in the OR

The following is a list of some of the most common cosmetic procedures.

Eyelid Surgery

The surgery to lift the eyelids is known as blepharoplasty. During this surgery, ‘eye bags’ are removed that are present under the eyes. This eyelid surgery gives the eyes a fresh and youthful look. There are many reasons that lead to the finding, such as genetic issues, ageing, or atmospheric factors including sun exposure. The eye bags are reduced by removing excess skin from below and above the eyelid. (1)

Breast Implants

This procedure is also known as ‘breast implants’. During this process, the surgeon places silicone gel implants beneath or above the main chest muscles, which helps in improving the esthetics of the breast. The alternative procedure is called mastoplexy or ‘breast lift surgery‘.

When a patient no longer desires breast implants, or there is a complication, then breast implant removal (explant) may be considered.

Nose Reshaping “Nose Job”

One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for men is nose reshaping or nose job rhinoplasty. During this surgery, large bumps of nose are removed. The goal is to make the nose look straighter and more symmetrical.

People prefer to have this surgery for various reasons, such as a medical issue or an accident that has left the nose look imperfect. A simple nose job can give a boost to confidence. (2)



During this process, hollow metal tubes or thin cannulas are used to vacuum excess fat from different parts of the body, such as neck, arms, hips, buttocks, thigh and the abdomen. Usually, laser and mechanical devices are used for suction of fat.


Facelift is a well-known procedure in which excess skin is removed from the neck and cheeks, which gives a fresher and younger look to the patient, as well as tighten the skin.

Tummy Tuck

Another popular cosmetic surgery is known as tummy tuck in which fat is removed from around the waist for health or cosmetic reasons. (3) Sometimes, it becomes difficult to burn stubborn fat even with dieting and exercise, here you can take help from this surgery. More on body contouring and sculpting surgery.

The combination of a few of the above surgeries is often referred to as a “mommy makeover“.

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Surgery

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Surgery is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the size, shape, and overall appearance of the buttocks.

Aesthetic Surgery vs Cosmetic Surgery

Aesthetic surgery and cosmetic surgery are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings. Aesthetic surgery refers to surgical procedures that are performed to enhance a person’s appearance, with the goal of improving the patient’s self-esteem and self-confidence. This can include procedures such as facelifts, breast augmentation, and body contouring.

Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is a subset of aesthetic surgery and specifically refers to procedures that are performed to improve the appearance of the face, head, and neck. This can include procedures such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), rhinoplasty (nose surgery), and facelifts.

Both aesthetic and cosmetic surgery are elective procedures, meaning that they are not medically necessary and are performed at the patient’s request. Both are also performed by plastic surgeons, who have completed specialized training in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Aesthetic surgery can be divided into two main categories: invasive and non-invasive. Invasive procedures involve incisions and the removal or repositioning of tissue. Examples of invasive aesthetic surgery include facelifts, breast augmentation, and tummy tucks. Non-invasive procedures, on the other hand, do not involve incisions or the removal of tissue. Examples of non-invasive aesthetic procedures include Botox injections, dermal fillers, and laser skin resurfacing.

The decision to have aesthetic or cosmetic surgery is a personal one and should be made after careful consideration and consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. Patients should have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery and to be aware of the potential risks and complications. Patients should also understand that the results of aesthetic and cosmetic surgery are not permanent and may require additional procedures in the future.

Tips to Follow For Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

Before you go for a cosmetic surgery procedure, it is essential to weigh its risks and benefits. Following are some useful tips that you should follow.

Cosmetic Surgery
  • Always to a licensed professional and experienced surgeon. You should check the credentials. (4)
  • As soon as you consult with your surgeon, it is time to make your own decision and know your preferences. Always ask questions related to surgery from the surgeon to clear all confusions.
  • Inquire about the limitations and risks of the surgery.
  • Select the right date for your surgery. For example, avoid going for surgery when you are going through a stressful event, like moving, having a baby, bereavement and switching jobs.
  • Cosmetic surgery is for personal satisfaction. Never go for cosmetic surgery to impress or please anyone else.
  • Find cosmetic options near you. Avoid traveling for cosmetic surgery. In case, you need to travel, then ensure the arrangements are reliable. Learn about cosmetic surgery costs.

Cosmetic Surgery & Plastic Surgery Risks

Cosmetic surgery, like any surgery, carries certain risks and potential complications. Some of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery include:

  1. Anesthesia complications: There is a risk of complications with any type of anesthesia, including allergic reactions or breathing problems.
  2. Infection: Any surgical procedure has a risk of infection, which can be treated with antibiotics but in some cases, could cause serious problems.
  3. Hematoma: This is a collection of blood outside of blood vessels and can cause pain, swelling and discoloration of the skin.
  4. Scarring: All surgical procedures result in some degree of scarring. In the case of cosmetic surgery, the scars may be visible, especially in procedures such as facelift, tummy tuck or breast surgery.
  5. Imperfections and asymmetry: There is always a risk that the final result may not be perfect and that asymmetry may occur in the healing process.
  6. Nerve damage: In some cases, nerves may be damaged during surgery, which can result in temporary or permanent loss of sensation or muscle function.
  7. Unsatisfactory results: In some cases, patients may be dissatisfied with the final outcome, which can lead to additional procedures to correct or improve the results.

These risks may vary depending on the type of surgery and your personal health condition. Follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions to minimize the risk of complications. Carefully research and choose a qualified, experienced surgeon to perform the procedure.

Recovery From Cosmetic Surgery & Plastic Surgery

The recovery process from cosmetic surgery can vary depending on the type of procedure, the individual’s overall health, and the surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions. However, there are some general steps that can be expected during the recovery process.

  1. Immediately after surgery: The patient will be moved to a recovery room where they will be closely monitored by medical staff. The patient may feel groggy or disoriented due to the effects of the anesthesia. They will likely experience some pain, swelling, and bruising.
  2. First few days: The patient will need to rest and allow their body to heal. They will be given pain medication to manage any discomfort. The patient will be instructed to keep the incision area clean, to avoid strenuous activities, and may also be instructed to wear compression clothing depending on the procedure.
  3. First week: The patient may be able to return to work or daily activities, but will still need to avoid any strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects. They will also need to avoid bending or stretching the surgical area, as well as exposing the area to sunlight.
  4. First month: As the healing process continues, the patient will notice a gradual improvement in the appearance of the surgical area. The swelling, bruising, and pain will begin to subside. The patient should continue to follow post-operative instructions and avoid any activities that could cause injury or harm to the surgical area.
  5. Long-term: The final result of the cosmetic surgery will be visible after some months, but the patient should avoid exposing the surgical area to sun, and other harmful agents, or heavy-duty physical activity as advised by the surgeon. The patient should also be careful to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, to maintain the best results.

Recovery times may vary, but it’s important to have realistic expectations about the time required for recovery, and be patient during the healing process. Follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions closely and to contact the surgeon if there are any concerns or complications during the recovery process.

How Do You Become a Cosmetic / Plastic Surgeon

Becoming a cosmetic surgeon typically requires a significant investment of time and dedication. The path to becoming a cosmetic surgeon typically involves the following steps:

  1. Undergraduate education: You will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in a field such as biology, chemistry, or pre-med.
  2. Medical school: After completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to attend and graduate from an accredited medical school. This typically takes four years.
  3. Residency training: After completing medical school, you will need to complete a surgical residency program, which typically takes several years. This will provide you with the hands-on training you need to become a skilled surgeon.
  4. Fellowship: After completing your surgical residency, you will need to complete a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery or cosmetic surgery.
  5. Board certification: After completing your fellowship, you will need to become certified by the relevant certification board. You will have to pass a rigorous exam, and maintain the certification.
  6. Continuing education: As a licensed physician, you will be required to complete continuing education courses throughout your career to maintain your license to practice and stay current with advances in the field.

The process can take up to 14 years or more and the education requirement alone can be quite demanding. Many surgery residencies are highly competitive, and the process of becoming a cosmetic surgeon can be costly, as well as time-consuming. Lean about the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon.

Cosmetic surgery is a sub-specialty of plastic surgery and you can become a cosmetic surgeon only if you are already a plastic surgeon, who has completed additional training in cosmetic surgery. How to Pick a Cosmetic Surgeon.

COSMETIC-SURGERIES-Breast Implants nose job eyelid surgery and more-infographic


Cosmetic and plastic surgery can be life-changing procedures that enhance physical appearance and improve quality of life. However, like any surgical procedure, they come with risks that should be carefully considered before undergoing any surgery. Find a plastic surgeon near me.


  1. Is cosmetic surgery covered by insurance?
    • Most cosmetic surgery procedures are considered elective and are not covered by insurance.
  2. How long is the recovery time for cosmetic surgery?
    • Recovery times can vary depending on the procedure and the individual, but generally range from a few days to several weeks.
  3. Can cosmetic surgery be reversed?
    • While some cosmetic surgery procedures can be reversed, such as Botox injections, others cannot, such as breast augmentation.
  4. How much does cosmetic surgery cost?
    • The cost of cosmetic surgery varies depending on the procedure and the location, but can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
  1. Is plastic surgery only for reconstructive purposes?
    • While plastic surgery is commonly used for reconstructive purposes, it can also be used for cosmetic purposes to enhance the appearance of a body part.
  2. Can plastic surgery be covered by insurance?
    • Plastic surgery may be covered by insurance if it is deemed medically necessary, such as reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy.
  3. What is the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery?
    • Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery that is focused on enhancing the appearance of a body part, while plastic surgery can be either reconstructive or cosmetic.
  4. How long does plastic surgery take?
    • The length of a plastic surgery procedure can vary depending on the type of surgery and the individual, but generally ranges from several hours to a full day.
  5. Is there an age limit for plastic surgery?
    • There is no specific age limit for plastic surgery, but the individual’s overall health and medical history will be taken into consideration before undergoing any procedure.

Learn about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Awareness Day

Cosmetic / Plastic Surgery References

  1. MedlinePlus. “Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2021,
  2. Abdominal wall surgery (Medical Encyclopedia)
  3. Breast augmentation surgery (Medical Encyclopedia)
  4. Breast lift (Medical Encyclopedia) A
  5. Chin augmentation (Medical Encyclopedia)

3 thoughts on “Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery – An Overview”

  1. Just a quick comment about the influx of physicians who are getting into this field.. it is true that a medical license allows a physician to perform most of these procedures. But you get what you pay for. It is important that the physician be qualified by a legitimate blank and certifying entity.

  2. I will add to the ‘training’ section for surgeons that they are required to do countless hours of additional hands-on training as part of continuing medical education – just to be competent in the latest technologies. Every few years, something new and special comes out that requires additional cosmetic surgical training.

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