What Is Cosmetic Surgery and Is It Right For You?

You might have recently found out a part of your body you aren’t happy with can be fixed with surgery.

Perhaps you aren’t familiar with your options and you are wondering, “What is cosmetic surgery?”

Well, you have come to the right place.

According to recent statistics, more than fourteen million individuals in the United States undergo some type of cosmetic surgical procedure each year, a number that continues to rise steadily as the years pass and medical technology advances.

The term cosmetic surgery encompasses all procedures which are completed to professionally enhance the look of one or more of an individual’s physical features.

This type of surgery is generally elective and is completed upon request of an individual in order to beautify his or her existing features.

In most cases, cosmetic surgery is not required for medical purposes and is done only for aesthetic reasons.

However, cosmetic surgery should only be performed by licensed doctors who have earned a medical degree and are experienced in their field of work.

Popular Types of Cosmetic Surgery

There are countless types of cosmetic surgical procedures ranging from arm lifts to facial implants. However, there are several specific cosmetic surgeries that consistently prove to be the most popular of the bunch.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation and breast lifts are one of the most common types of cosmetic surgery and are quickly surpassing breast implants in popularity.

While a breast lift does not change the size or shape of your breasts, it tightens the skin of the breasts and causes them to appear more full, firm, and youthfully perky, while also reducing the size of the areola if it has become larger over time.

Many women choose to undergo a breast lift rather than a breast implant procedure because a lift is less invasive and allows the women to keep their real breast tissue.

A breast reduction might be needed for you if your breasts cause you pain or discomfort. Or maybe you are self-conscious of your size and you just want to be smaller.


Facelifts are one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures for both men and women to undergo, although many more women choose to have the surgery than men.

A facelift is usually performed on aging individuals who wish to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and sagging in their face.

The surgery tightens the skin of the face, thereby decreasing sagging skin, removing wrinkles, and causing your face to appear younger and smoother.

For those wanting a minor lift to help with the appearance of wrinkles, then Botox is a great alternative to a facelift.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks are a unique form of cosmetic surgery that not only remove fat but also rejoin weak or separated muscles in the abdomen that cause an individual’s stomach to protrude.

This type of surgery is popular for overweight men and women because it eliminates excess fat and skin, but it is also commonly chosen by individuals who are in shape but are unable to achieve a flat stomach despite working out and regularly performing abdominal exercises.

A tummy tuck restores muscles in the abdomen that have separated or weakened due to aging, pregnancy, or other causes in order to create the appearance of a flat, firm stomach.

If you don’t want to go the tuck route then there is always the ever-so-popular Liposuction procedure(s).

Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

Cosmetic nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, corrects the shape, size, and proportion of an individual’s nose in order to make it fit in more smoothly with the rest of his or her facial features.

While the primary purpose of rhinoplasty surgery is to enhance the physical appearance of your nose and correct any aesthetic abnormalities in it, this type of cosmetic surgery can also correct medical nose problems that impair breathing functions, such as a deviated septum.

Ear Surgery

Surprisingly, ear surgery is one of the top ten most popular forms of cosmetic surgery.

This type of cosmetic surgery is often performed on individuals who were born with a defect in their ear structure or developed it after suffering an accident or other trauma.

These individuals do not necessarily have hearing problems due to their ear’s structural defect; many simply want to correct the defect in order to improve their physical appearance.

Cosmetic ear surgery, otherwise known as otoplasty, can correct the shape, size, position, or proportion of an ear in order to minimize any abnormalities and enhance the appearance of the ear as a whole.

Why Get Cosmetic Surgery?

There are many different reasons why men and women across the world choose to undergo various types of cosmetic surgery.

These reasons vary depending on an individual’s age, insecurities, natural physical features, and preferences regarding their physical appearance.

However, there are several generic reasons that are commonly cited by those who make the decision to undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure.

Minimize the Effects of Aging

beforeafterMany middle-aged and elderly individuals, especially females, feel insecure about the effects that their natural aging process has on their physical appearance.

Many aging women become hyper-aware of any wrinkles they develop or sagging that naturally occurs on their stomach, breasts, and other areas of their skin and allow these changes in their appearance to significantly lower their self-esteem.

These women (or men) often choose to undergo types of cosmetic surgery that are primarily designed to minimize the physical effects of aging in order to return certain physical features to their original youthful glory.

Popular cosmetic surgeries that are designed to reduce physical changes caused by aging include eyelid lifts (Blepharoplasty), breast lifts, buttock augmentationarm lifts, thigh lifts, lip augmentation, face lifts… and even vaginoplasty.

Return to Your Pre-Pregnancy Body

Pregnancy is a special, magical process that rewards mothers with the gift of life.

postpregnancyHowever, the nine-month process of growing a human being inside your uterus can really take a toll on your body.

After women give birth, they are obviously overjoyed at the arrival of their new child, but they are often simultaneously devastated by the effects that their pregnancy has had on their body.

A woman’s body will usually naturally return to the way it looked before her pregnancy, especially if she breastfeeds and keeps up an exercise regimen.

However, some women find that, months or even years after they’ve given birth, their body still has not snapped back to its pre-pregnancy glory.

These women often become frustrated and discouraged and make the decision to undergo certain types of cosmetic surgery that will cause their body to appear as it did before they became pregnant and gave birth.

Popular types of cosmetic surgery that help minimize the negative effects that pregnancy can have on your body include tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and breast lifts.

"Cosmetic surgery can help minimize the physical effects of past traumas that have left scarring."

“Cosmetic surgery can help minimize the physical effects of past traumas that have left scarring.”

Reduce Scarring and Damage from Accidents

Accidents happen. While many accidents that occur in a lifetime have no permanent effects, others can cause physical damage that lasts a lifetime and significantly decreases an individual’s self-esteem.

Cosmetic surgery can help minimize the physical effects of past accidents and traumas that have left scarring, disfigurement, burn marks, and more.

Some types of cosmetic surgery can also help reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

Cosmetic surgical procedures that are effective at reducing scarring and physical effects of accidents are injectable fillers, dermabrasion, skin resurfacing, and chemical peels.

Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery

Besides the obvious improvements in physical appearance that cosmetic surgery causes, there are also several little-known underlying benefits of this type of elective surgery.

Increase Your Self-Esteem

Maintaining a sufficient amount of self-esteem is an extremely important part of living a happy life.

Cellulite and stretch marks are the most complained about effects of aging by women.

“Cellulite and stretch marks are the most common complaints expressed by women.”

Those who do not love themselves are likely to develop depression or other severe emotional issues which can lead to self-harm or even suicide.

Physical imperfections and abnormalities can haunt individuals from childhood on and cause bullying, lack of career progression, an inability to connect with others and form lasting, healthy friendships and relationships, and a significant lack of self-esteem.

Obviously, your physical appearance should not dictate your happiness in life; your true worth comes from the positive personality traits you have on the inside.

However, for those who have been forced to carry themselves around with a body part or facial feature that they despise throughout their entire life, happiness and feelings of self-worth can seem woefully out of reach.

Fortunately, undergoing cosmetic surgery can easily help these individuals feel significantly better about themselves and allow them to live the rest of their life with a face and body that they feel is worthy of showing off to the world.

Cellulite and stretch marks are the most common complaints expressed by women.

Improve Your Health and Reduce Your Risk of Disease

While cosmetic surgery is an elective type of surgery that is designed primarily to enhance your physical features without affecting your health, some types of cosmetic surgery can have notable positive effects on your physical health as well as your appearance.


“Cosmetic surgery that removes excess fat helps reduce your risk for developing diseases in the future.”

Cosmetic surgery that reduces the amount of fat in your body, such as liposuction, breast reduction, and tummy tucks, can significantly improve your current health and reduce your risk of disease.

Being overweight and carrying around excess fat can put you at significantly higher risks for dangerous and potentially life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes, kidney disease, and more.

Cosmetic surgery that removes excess fat helps reduce your risk for developing any of these diseases in the future.

Individuals who undergo fat-removing or weight-loss cosmetic surgical procedures are also more likely to engage in a healthy, active lifestyle full of nutritious foods and regular exercise following their surgery in order to preserve the positive effects of their cosmetic procedure.

Other types of cosmetic surgery that do not affect your weight can improve your health in other ways.

Undergoing rhinoplasty, for example, can help you breathe more easily and breast lifts or reductions can help improve your posture when sitting, standing, or walking.

Risks of Cosmetic Surgery

riskfactorsAlthough there are many positive benefits of cosmetic surgery, there are also risks involved.

Despite the fact that cosmetic surgery is elective and is usually not performed to improve your health, it involves a surgical procedure nonetheless and comes with the same risks as any surgery, along with a few unique risks of its own.

While these risks are rare, it is important to be aware of them before choosing to undergo any type of cosmetic surgery.

And obviously, please visit a certified cosmetic or plastic surgeon.

Permanent Numbness

Loss of feeling in the area of your body in which you’ve undergone a cosmetic surgical procedure is one of the most severe risks of cosmetic surgery.

Temporary numbness immediately following cosmetic surgery is fairly common and is usually not cause for panic or concern.

However, when you undergo cosmetic surgery, you run a slight risk of developing permanent numbness in certain parts of your body.

Permanent numbness is more common with some types of cosmetic surgical procedures than others.

The procedures in which numbness occurs the most often are breast surgeries, for which loss of feeling in one or both nipples is possible, face lifts, and tummy tucks.

Permanent numbness, while certainly not a probability, is a possibility due to the inevitable tissue death that occurs during any surgery.

Individuals who smoke are significantly more likely to lose more live tissue and develop permanent numbness following cosmetic surgery than non-smokers because of the negative effects chronic smoking has on the blood supply of skin and muscle tissue.

Loss of Blood and Hematomas

All patients risk excessive blood loss when they choose to undergo a surgical procedure.

However, there is a notable risk of a dangerous amount of blood loss for patients who decide to undergo cosmetic surgical procedures on their face, such as a face lift, due to the abundant amount of blood that runs through the face.

Excessive blood loss is more common for male patients of facial cosmetic surgery than female because there are more capillaries and therefore more blood in men’s faces than in women’s.

A hematoma is also an unfortunate risk of facial cosmetic surgery.

A hematoma, which involves a dangerous swelling of clotted blood outside of an individual’s blood vessels but within their body tissues, can occur during cosmetic surgery if the surgeon causes unintentional damage to the patient’s blood vessel wall, vein, capillary, or artery.

Cosmetic Surgery Is Quickly Increasing In Popularity

Every year, more and more individuals choose to undergo some sort of cosmetic surgical procedure than the year before.

Like any surgery, cosmetic surgery comes with its own set of risks.

Before you choose to undergo any type of cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you research the possible outcomes, both negative and positive, and choose a surgeon that is trustworthy and experienced in the type of procedure you wish to undergo.

However, aside from its possible risks, cosmetic surgery can permanently change your life in an incredibly positive manner.

By enhancing the physical features that cause you shame or dismay, cosmetic surgery can significantly increase your self-esteem, happiness, and satisfaction, as well as your physical health, causing you to feel youthful and rejuvenated for years to come.