If you're considering cosmetic plastic surgery, please ask your plastic surgeon for further information about the particular procedure and what you expect.

In addition, please note that all surgery carries some uncertainty and risk, including the possibility of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and adverse reactions to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon and closely following his or her advice, both before and after surgery.

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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Procedure

Flatten abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles of abdominal wall.

Length

2 to 5 hours

Anesthesia

General, or local with sedation

In/Outpatient

Either depending on individual circumstances and extent of surgery.

Side Effects

Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks or months.

Risks

Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation.

Recovery

Back to work: 2 to 4 weeks. More strenuous activity: 4 to 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.

Breast Enlargement (Augmentation Mammaplasty)

Procedure

Enhance the size of breasts using inflatable implants filled with saline.

Length

1 to 2 hours

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, bruising. Breast sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.

Risks

Lack of implant permanence -- surgical removal or replacement of the implants may be required to treat problems, including: deflation; the formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture), which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard; bleeding or infection. Increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, occasionally permanent. Mammography requires a special technique. (Note: Some women have reported symptoms similar to those of immune disorders. Ask your doctor about these and other FDA concerns.)

Recovery

Back to work: a few days. Physical contact with breasts: 3 to 4 weeks. Fading of scars: several months to a year or more.

Duration of Results

Variable. Implants may require removal or replacement.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Procedure

Raise and reshape sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning remaining tissue and nipples.

Length

1 to 3 hours

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient, sometimes inpatient

Side Effects

Temporary bruising, swelling, discomfort, numbness, dry breast skin. Permanent scars.

Risks

Thick, wide scars; skin loss; infection. Unevenly positioned nipples. Permanent loss of feeling in nipples or breast.

Recovery

Back to work: 1 week or more. Strenuous activities: 1 month. Fading of scars: several months to a year.

Duration of Results

Variable; gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight changes may cause new sagging. Results may last longer or be enhanced when breast implants are inserted as part of the procedure.

Chemical Peel (Phenol and trichloroacetic acid [TCA])

Procedure

Restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or sun-damaged facial skin, using a chemical solution to peel away skin's top layers. Works best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles.

Length

1 to 2 hours for full face

Anesthesia

None; sedation & EKG monitoring may be used

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient. Full-face phenol peel may require admission for 1 to 2 days.

Side Effects

Both: Temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness; acute sensitivity to sun. Phenol: Permanent lightening of treated skin; permanent loss of ability to tan.

Risks

Both: Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores. Phenol: Abnormal color changes (permanent); heart irregularities (rare).

Recovery

Phenol: Formation of new skin: 7 to 21 days. Normal activities: 2 to 4 weeks. Full healing and fading of redness: 3 to 6 months TCA: New skin within 5 to 10 days.

Duration of Results

Phenol: permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages. TCA: variable (temporary).

Fat Injections

Procedure

Plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin; add fullness to lips and backs of hands. Works best on thin, dry, light-colored skin.

Length

15 minutes to 1 hour per session

Anesthesia

Local.

In/Outpatient

Outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary stinging, throbbing, or burning sensation. Faint redness, swelling, excess fullness.

Risks

Contour irregularities, infection.

Duration of Results

Variable; a few months to 1 year.

Dermabrasion

Procedure

Mechanical scraping of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary wheel. Softens sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth.

Length

A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.

Anesthesia

Local, numbing spray, or general

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to make pigment (tan).

Risks

Abnormal color changes (permanent). Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores.

Recovery

Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4 to 6 weeks. Fading of redness: about 3 months. Return of pigmentation/sun exposure: 6 to 12 months.

Duration of Results

Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.

Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Procedure

Set prominent ears back closer to the head, or reduce the size of large ears. Most often done on children between the ages of 4 and 14 years. (Occasionally covered by insurance.)

Length

2 to 3 hours

Anesthesia

Young children: usually general. Older children or adults: general or local, with sedation

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary throbbing, aching, swelling, redness, numbness.

Risks

Infection of cartilage. Excessive scarring. Blood clot that may need to be drained. Mismatched or artificial- looking ears. Recurrence of the protrusion, requiring repeat surgery.

Recovery

Back to work or school: 5 to 7 days. Strenuous activity, contact sports: 1 to 2 months.

Duration of Results

Usually permanent

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Procedure

Correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle. (Upper-eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if used to correct visual field defects)

Length

1 to 3 hours

Anesthesia

Usually locally with sedation or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary discomfort, tightness of lids, swelling, bruising. Temporary dryness, burning, itching of eyes. Excessive tearing, sensitivity to light for first few weeks.

Risks

Temporary blurred or double vision. Infection, bleeding. Swelling at the corners of the eyelids. Dry eyes. Formation of whiteheads. Slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Difficulty in closing eyes completely (rarely permanent). Pulling down of the lower lids (may require further surgery). Blindness (extremely rare).

Recovery

Reading: 2 or 3 days. Back to work: 7 to 10 days. Contact lenses: two weeks or more. Strenuous activities, alcohol: about 3 weeks. Bruising and swelling gone: several weeks.

Duration of Results

Several years. Sometimes permanent.

Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Procedure

Improving sagging facial skin, jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, redraping skin. Most often done on men and women over 40.

Length

Several hours

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient. Some patients may require short inpatient stay.

Side Effects

Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; tight feeling, dry skin. For men, permanent need to shave behind ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned.

Risks

Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles or feeling (usually temporary but may be permanent). Infection, bleeding. Poor healing; excessive scarring. Asymmetry or change in hairline.

Recovery

Back to work: 10 to 14 days. More strenuous activity: 2 weeks or more. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Must limit exposure to sun for several months.

Duration of Results

Usually 5 to 10 years

Facial Implants

Procedure

Change the basic shape and balance of the face using carefully shaped implants to build up a receding chin, add prominence to cheekbones, or reshape the jawline.

Length

30 minutes to 2 hours

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient. Occasionally overnight hospital stay.

Side Effects

Temporary discomfort, swelling, bruising, numbness and/or stiffness. In jaw surgery, inability to open mouth fully for several weeks.

Risks

Shifting or imprecise positioning of implant, or infection around it, requiring a second operation or removal. Excess tightening and hardening of scar tissue around an artificial implant ("capsular contracture"), causing unnatural shape.

Recovery

Back to work: about 1 week. Normal appearance: 2 to 4 weeks. Activity that could jar or bump face: 6 weeks or more.

Duration of Results

Permanent

Forehead Lift (Browlift)

Procedure

Minimize forehead creases, drooping eyebrows, hooding over eyes, furrowed forehead and frown lines by removing excess tissue, altering muscles and tightening the forehead skin. May be done using the traditional technique, with an incision across the top of the head just behind the hairline; or with the use of an endoscope, which requires 3 to 5 short incisions. Most often done on people over 40.

Length

1 to 2 hours

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary swelling, numbness, headaches, bruising. Traditional method: Possible itching and hair loss.

Risks

Injury to facial nerve, causing loss of motion, muscle weakness, or asymmetrical look. Infection. Broad or excessive scarring.

Recovery

Back to work: 7 to 10 days, usually sooner for endoscopic forehead lift. More strenuous activity: several weeks. Full recovery from bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Limit sun exposure for several months.

Duration of Results

Usually 5 to 10 years

Hair Replacement Surgery

Procedure

Fill in balding areas with a patient's own hair using a variety of techniques including scalp reduction, tissue expansion, strip grafts, scalp flaps, or clusters of punch grafts (plugs, miniplugs and microplugs). Works best on men with male pattern baldness after hair loss has stopped.

Length

1 to 3 hours. Some techniques may require multiple procedures over 18 months or more.

Anesthesia

Usually local with sedation. Flaps and tissue expansion may be done with general anesthesia.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary achy, tight scalp. Unnatural look in early stages.

Risks

Unnatural look. Infection. Excessive scarring. Failure to "take." Loss of scalp tissue and/or transplanted hair.

Recovery

Back to work: usually 2 to 5 days. More strenuous activities: 10 days to 3 weeks. Final look: may be 18 months or more, depending on procedure.

Duration of Results

Permanent

Laser Facial Resurfacing

Procedure

Smooth the face and smooth fine wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) or Erbium hybrid (halo/contour) laser device that treats layers of damaged skin. Softens lines around the eyes and mouth and minimizes facial scars and unevenly pigmented areas.

Length

A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient, unless combined with other surgical procedures that require hospitalization.

Side Effects

Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.

Risks

Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections ("cold sores") and other infections (rare).

Recovery

Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4-6 weeks. Complete fading of redness: 6 months or less. Return of pigmentation/light sun exposure: 6-12 months.

Duration of Results

Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.

Liposuction (Suction-Assisted Lipectomy)

Procedure

Improve body shape by removing exercise-resistant fat deposits with a tube and vacuum device. Can be performed using the tumescent technique, in which targeted fat cells are infused with saline containing solution with a local anesthetic before liposuction to reduce post-operative bruising and swelling. Common locations for liposuction include chin, cheeks, neck, upper arms, above breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles.

PAL (power-assisted liposuction) by Microaire enables Dr. Cappuccino to perform a more effective procedure on a larger treatment area without lengthening the procedure duration.

Length

1 to 2 hours or more.

Anesthesia

Local, epidural, or general.

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient. Extensive procedures may require short inpatient stay.

Side Effects

Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation. Tumescent: Temporary fluid drainage from incision sites. UAL: Larger incisions for cannula.

Risks

Asymmetry. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Pigmentation changes. Skin injury. Fluid retention. Excessive fluid loss leading to shock. Infection. UAL: thermal burn injury caused by the heat from the ultrasound device.

Recovery

Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks. More strenuous activity: 2 to 4 weeks. Full recovery from swelling and bruising: 1 to 6 months or more. Use of tumescent technique or UAL may decrease post-operative bruising and swelling.

Duration of Results

Permanent, with sensible diet and exercise.

Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Procedure

Reduce enlarged, female-like breast in men using liposuction and/or cutting out excess glandular tissue. (Sometimes covered by medical insurance.)

Length

1 hour or more

Anesthesia

General or local

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation.

Risks

Infection. Fluid accumulation. Injury to the skin. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Asymmetry. Pigmentation changes (may become permanent if exposed to sun). Excessive scarring if tissue was cut away. Need for second procedure to remove additional tissue.

Recovery

Back to work: 3 to 7 days. More strenuous activity: 2 to 3 weeks. Swelling and bruising: 3 to 6 months.

Duration of Results

Permanent

Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Procedure

Reshape nose by reducing or increasing size, removing hump, changing shape of tip or bridge, narrowing span of nostrils, or changing angle between nose and upper lip. May also relieve some breathing problems. (May be covered by insurance.)

Length

1 to 2 hours or more

Anesthesia

Local with sedation, or general

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient

Side Effects

Temporary swelling, bruising around eyes, nose and headaches. Some bleeding and stiffness.

Risks

Infection. Small burst blood vessels resulting in tiny, permanent red spots. Incomplete improvement, requiring additional surgery.

Recovery

Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 2 to 3 weeks. Avoid hitting nose or sunburn: 8 weeks. Final appearance: 1 year or more.

Duration of Results

Permanent

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