Cosmetic Surgery: A Rundown of Procedures
Plastic surgery side effects are generally temporary and the risks and recovery times may vary. Your physician can give you an estimated recovery time that is specific for you. Risk tends to be greater with the use of general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep. Local anesthesia, on the other hand, is applied directly to the site of the surgery and does not put you to sleep.
Cosmetic procedures that are not necessitated by a medical condition are generally not covered by insurance.
Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)
Description: General anesthesia is administered. The skin of the nose is separated from the bone and cartilage, which is sculpted to the desired shape. The skin is redraped over the new framework and a splint is applied to keep the nose stabilized. Rhinoplasty usually takes 2-4 hours, but times vary with individual circumstances.
Side Effects: Swelling and bruising around the nose, headache, bleeding, nasal stuffiness, and discomfort
Potential Risks: Infection, small burst blood vessels, deviated septum, and incomplete improvement, requiring additional surgery
Recovery Time:Stitches are removed after a week and a splint is worn for 1–2 weeks. Recovery usually takes 3–4 weeks for full healing.
Description: General anesthesia is administered. Incisions are made, usually just above the hairline at the temples, extending in a natural line from in front of the ear to behind the earlobe to the lower back part of the scalp. The skin is separated from the underlying fat and muscle. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The underlying muscle and membrane are tightened and the skin is pulled back, and the excess removed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions. Metal clips may be used on the scalp.
Side Effects: Swelling, bruising, numbness, skin tenderness, dryness, and tightness
Potential Risks: Infection, bleeding, poor healing, injury to nerves that control facial muscles, excessive scarring, and changes in the hairline
Recovery Time: Back to work in 2-3 weeks. More strenuous activity in 2-6 weeks
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Description: Local or general anesthesia is administered. Incisions are made in the creases of the upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of the eyes. The skin is separated from underlying fatty tissue. Muscle and excess fat are removed and sagging skin and muscles are trimmed. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
Side Effects: Temporary discomfort, eyelid tightness, swelling, bruising, dryness, tearing, itching, and sensitivity to light
Potential Risks: Blurred or double vision, infection, bleeding, dry eyes, asymmetrical healing or scarring, difficulty closing eyes, and blindness
Recovery Time: Return to doctor's office 5-7 days after surgery; limit outdoor activity for 7-10 days.
Last reviewedJuly 2012by Brian P. Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.