12 Types of Plastic Surgery

Types of Plastic Surgery – Overview

There are hundreds of different cosmetic surgery procedures available to patients today. Some are invasive, while others require no cutting of the skin.

Cosmetic surgeons may perform a wide range of invasive (surgical) and non-invasive (non-surgical) procedures tailored to individual patient needs and desired outcomes.

Here is a list of some popular cosmetic surgery procedures:

1. Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic operation to make the abdomen more firm.

The surgery involves removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen to tighten the abdominal wall’s muscles and fascia.

This type of surgery is usually sought by patients with loose or sagging tissues after pregnancy or major weight loss. Tummy tucks can be performed alone or may be combined with liposuction to enhance contouring, depending on individual patient needs and surgeon recommendations.

Before surgery, your surgeon will assess your medical history and conduct a physical exam to determine whether you are healthy enough for surgery and if you have realistic expectations of the results.

The operation can be performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation with local anesthesia. Incisions are made near the pubic area.

In partial abdominoplasty, incisions are smaller and often limited to the lower abdomen. In contrast, in full abdominoplasty, incisions may extend from hip to hip and around the navel for more extensive reshaping.

The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall up to your ribs. Your surgeon will repair weakened muscles and remove excess fat tissue and some skin from your abdomen.

A new hole for your belly button will be cut and stitched into place before closing up the incision with sutures or surgical staples.

2. Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Brachioplasty, more commonly known as an arm lift, reshapes the upper arm to reduce the appearance of loose skin and fat.

Many people who seek an arm lift have lost a significant amount of weight or have found that their upper arms have sagged with age or other factors.

An arm lift is typically conducted under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, although it can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation if desired.

The surgery begins with a horizontal incision on the inside of the upper arm. The incision may continue around the arm to the armpit area.

Excess fat and skin are removed and the remaining tissue is brought together, resulting in a tighter, smoother appearance.

3. Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Eyelid surgery removes excess fat, skin, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids.

Blepharoplasty can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel and may even interfere with your vision.

Blepharoplasty can be done alone or with other facial surgery procedures, such as a facelift or brow lift.

In a typical blepharoplasty procedure, an incision follows the natural line of the eyelid; in the upper lid, this incision may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes.

Through this incision, excess fat is removed, along with excess skin and muscle if needed. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

If baggy lower eyelids aren’t caused by excess skin but by bulging fat pads under your eyes, an incision is made on the inside of your lower eyelid to remove the protruding fat pads.

This type of procedure is called transconjunctival blepharoplasty.

4. Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation remains among the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures, with trends and numbers of procedures performed annually updated by sources such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Women choose breast implants to correct for insufficient breast tissue or unevenness between breasts. Implants can also be used for reconstruction after cancer surgery.

Both saline and silicone gel implants are commonly used for breast augmentation, with the choice depending on patient preference, desired outcomes, and surgeon recommendation. Breast implants come in different sizes and shapes.

These choices will be discussed during your consultation with your plastic surgeon.

5. Breast Implant Removal

A plastic surgeon performs breast implant removal and may be done under local or general anesthesia.

It’s usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight.

Breast implant removal can be performed as a stand-alone surgical procedure or in conjunction with breast lift surgery or breast reduction surgery.

Removing implants while preserving some skin and breast tissue allows for more natural-looking breasts.

If you’re considering this option, your plastic surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of various approaches to help you make the best choice for your situation.

6. Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts — at least, that’s what it was before plastic surgeons began combining it with breast augmentation.

Nowadays, “breast lift” can refer to either procedure or any combination of the two.

The technical name for a breast lift is mastopexy. During this procedure, the doctor raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.

Sometimes, the areola enlarges over time, and a breast lift will also reduce this. The result is perkier, firmer, better-shaped breasts that appear more youthful.

If your nipples point downward or your breasts sag below your crease line, you might consider having this procedure.

If you want to change the size of your breasts in addition to lifting them, you can combine the two procedures in what is called an augmentation-mastopexy.

This increases both firmness and fullness, returning your breasts to their former youthful profile while enlarging them if desired.

7. Brow Lift Surgery

A brow lift is a plastic surgery procedure that improves the appearance of the forehead, brow, and area around the eyes.

Brow lifts are typically outpatient using either general anesthesia or sedation with local anesthesia.

The length of your surgery depends on how much work is being done, but it generally lasts one to two hours.

Several techniques are used for browlifting. The most common approach is through an incision across the top of your scalp, just behind the hairline.

Your surgeon will then separate the skin from your forehead and remove any excess tissue before stitching it back together.

With this method, any resulting scars will be hidden by your hair once you heal.

In a limited incision forehead lift, your surgeon makes a smaller incision along your hairline and uses an endoscope — a thin tube with a lighted camera on one end — to guide the procedure.

During a direct brow lift, a second surgeon makes an incision in each eyebrow to remove excess tissue and lift your eyebrows into a more attractive position.

With this technique, scars are visible but often heal well.

8. Buttock Augmentation

Buttock augmentation can be achieved through fat transfer, commonly known as a Brazilian butt lift, or with implants. The choice of procedure depends on the patient’s body type, goals, and surgeon’s assessment.

Buttock augmentation procedures are not without risks. The Brazilian butt lift is among the most dangerous aesthetic plastic surgery procedures out there.

While buttock augmentation procedures, especially fat transfer (Brazilian butt lift), have risks. Patients should discuss the risks and safety measures with their surgeon.

For those who do live through the procedure, complications can include infection and nerve damage.

In 2012, a woman had a buttock augmentation — a common plastic surgery procedure to make her buttocks larger — done in Florida by an unlicensed physician.

Unlicensed procedures carry significant risks. Patients should ensure their surgeon is certified and the procedure is performed in an accredited facility to minimize risks.

9. Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Ear pinning (otoplasty) corrects the appearance of protruding ears by setting them closer to the head.

The surgery can be performed on children as young as 5 years old when a child is old enough to understand that protruding ears are a normal variation and may cause teasing or ridicule.

The best candidates for ear pinning surgery are children with healthy, well-developed ears that are relatively large in proportion to their heads but who otherwise have no deformities.

The otoplasty procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about two hours. A small incision is made behind the ear, then the surgeon manipulates the cartilage and bends it back toward the head.

After this, a permanent stitch is placed deep within the skin to hold the new shape. The entire ear will be covered in bandages after surgery, which must remain in place for approximately a week.

When the bandages are removed, a headband will be used to keep the ears firmly pressed against the head for several weeks.

10. Facelift

A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as sagging skin.

The procedure involves removing excess facial skin and tightening underlying tissues to smooth out wrinkles and create a youthful appearance.

To enhance results, facelift surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures, such as eyelid surgery or forehead lift.

During your consultation, your doctor will discuss your cosmetic goals and evaluate your face to determine if a facelift is appropriate for you.

During facelift surgery, an incision is made along the hairline at the temple and extends around the earlobe to behind the ear.

Skin and tissue are lifted and underlying fat may be sculpted or redistributed to improve contours.

Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is pulled tight to improve its elasticity. The resulting scar lies in the natural crease of the ear and fades over time.

Facelift surgery takes several hours to perform while patients are under general anesthesia. Facelifts are commonly combined with rhinoplasty (nose job), which can be done at the same time for optimal results.

11. Liposuction

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes fat you can’t seem to eliminate through diet and exercise. People choose liposuction to improve the body’s shape in specific areas.

It is not a weight-loss solution or an obesity treatment, and it shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative to proper diet and exercise.

Liposuction is most effective for people who are within 30% of their ideal body weight and who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone.

You should also be physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations.

The procedure permanently removes fat cells from the treated areas but doesn’t prevent future weight gain.

If you gain weight after liposuction, the new fat cells may enlarge in different areas of your body.

12. Hair Replacement Surgery

Maybe your hair is thinning, or you’re ready to change and want really cool hair.

Whatever the case may be, if you are looking for a change, you may want to consider hair replacement surgery.

Hair transplantation surgery involves moving hair follicles from a donor site on the patient’s scalp to the thinning or balding areas. It’s performed by dermatological surgeons specializing in hair loss treatments.

The transplanted hairs will fall out within two weeks after surgery, but new growth will begin within three months and will continue to grow like normal hair.

Hair transplant surgery can be performed on both men and women.

While it was originally developed for men who are experiencing male pattern baldness, it is now being used more frequently by women who experience thinning of the hair due to age or medical conditions such as alopecia areata.

If you are considering this type of procedure, you should discuss your options with a cosmetic surgeon.

Only a qualified plastic surgeon can determine whether this procedure would be beneficial for you.

Before deciding on a particular surgeon, do some research and find someone who has plenty of experience performing this type of procedure.

Final Thoughts

Cosmetic surgery is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques.

Cosmetic surgery is elective and focuses on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques. It is applicable to the head, neck, and body and aims to improve aesthetic appeal.

See Also

Does Medicaid Cover Breast Reduction

Grants for Plastic Surgery

All-Inclusive Plastic Surgery Vacation

What is Cool Sculpting

Lap Band Surgery Cost Without Insurance

Cosmetic Dentistry Grants

Current Version
February 24, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 25, 2024
Updated By
Andleeb Asghar, PharmD

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