A person with an obsessive focus on appearance can feel confident in social and professional situations after cosmetic surgery. Plastic derives from the Greek word for molding, but that doesn’t mean patients end up with a face full of fake features. Reconstructive procedures repair physical congenital disabilities like cleft lips and palates, traumatic injuries such as dog bites, and medical conditions such as cancer treatments.
Reconstructive plastic surgery Bellevue repairs defects from trauma or injury and restores a normal appearance. Examples include surgically repairing congenital disabilities like webbed fingers or cleft lips and palates, restoring function after cancer treatments, such as mastectomy, mending burns, and correcting injuries such as fractures, scarring, or loss of limbs. Reconstructive procedures often involve transferring tissue from another body part to cover damaged areas. It may be done using a skin graft, in which healthy skin is moved from elsewhere on the body to cover the wound, or through flap surgery, in which a piece of living tissue, such as an earlobe or thigh, is moved to repair a deformity.
Although women get most of the attention when it comes to cosmetic changes, men sometimes undergo reconstructive or reduction procedures to change a physical characteristic that makes them uncomfortable. For example, a guy who develops gynecomastia (excess breast tissue) may decide to have a reduction procedure.
People often think of Hollywood stars getting breast implants or a guy having his ear pinched back when he swaggers down the street, but plastic surgery is about more than just changing looks. Plastic surgeons also perform reconstructive procedures that repair tissues and skin damaged by cancer, trauma, burns,, or other congenital problems. Cosmetic surgeries are generally elective and not covered by insurance. For example, a facelift creates a more youthful appearance by smoothing out wrinkles, tightening loose skin, and eliminating droopy areas like the jowls or neck. A rhinoplasty (nose surgery) improves the formation of a misshapen nose.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) improves the look of a stretched-out belly but will not eliminate stretch marks. A blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes excess fat and tissue from the lower eyelids to give the eyes a more refreshed look. A dermabrasion procedure uses a unique tool to sand the top layer of the skin, allowing new, fresh skin to replace it.
Surgical treatments for severe obesity typically achieve durable and sustained weight loss through restriction or malabsorption and significantly ameliorate the associated comorbidities. After such dramatic and substantial weight loss, however, excess skin can often remain a visible reminder of the patient’s previous massive weight.
Post-bariatric plastic surgery can tighten loose and saggy skin in the arms, neck, breasts, abdomen, and buttocks to create a toned appearance that reflects the patient’s healthy new body size. Procedures like a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) eliminate the “apron” of excess stomach skin that can cause rashes, sores, and infection and lift the abdominal muscles for a flatter and more shapely contour. Liposuction is also helpful in eliminating small to large pockets of fat from virtually any area of the body. Other bariatric procedures reduce stomach capacity so the patient feels full sooner when eating and consumes fewer calories.
Even a strict diet and rigorous workout regimen can leave areas of the body that are resistant to change. Cosmetic and surgical body contouring removes fat and excess skin from problem areas, producing more pleasing curves and proportions. Significant weight loss due to bariatric surgery, pregnancy, or age may result in loose and sagging skin. Body contouring can refine and tighten a patient’s new shape, removing loose or hanging skin in the arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, and groin areas. Before body contouring surgery, your medical practitioner will discuss your goals and examine you. You must be stable for the procedure, as future rapid weight gain can detract from your results.
Surgical body contouring procedures include:
- A lower-body lift.
- An arm lift (Brachioplasty).
- A thigh and leg lift (tummy tuck).
Fat transfer is another option for body contouring. It involves harvesting fat from one body area, purifying it, and then re-injecting it in another part to reduce stretch marks.