Glossary of Terms – Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery Glossary of Terms


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Arm Lift – Outpatient Surgery
Description: Procedure to reshape the upper arm by reducing loose skin and fat deposits. May be performed in conjunction with liposuction.
Average Cost: $4000 – $10,000
Length of Surgery: Approx. 2-3 hours
Anesthesia: General anesthesia or local with sedation.
Recovery Time: Return to work in 2-3 weeks. Resume exercise in 3-6 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Asymmetry, irregular scar formation, infections, numbness, complications related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Permanent, if weight is maintained.  Aging may affect the results.
Pros: The confidence to wear short sleeves or no sleeves at all.  Feeling comfortable waving hello or goodbye without “flapping.”
Cons: A scar that generally begins in the underarm and, depending on the degree of correction necessary, may extend to the elbow.

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Breast Lift – Inpatient or Outpatient Surgery
Description: Surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breats.
Average Cost: $4,000 – $10,000
Length of Surgery: 2-5 Hours
Anesthesia: General or local with intravenous sedation.
Recovery Time: Return to work in 7-14 days.  Rsume moderate exercise in 3-6 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Asymmetry of breasts and/or nipples, loss of sensation, irregular scar formation, complications related to anesthesia
Duration of Results: Long-lasting.  However, gravity, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging can affect results.
Pros: Perkier, more youthful-looking breasts.
Cons: Scarring on, and possible underneath, the breast.

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Body Lift – Inpatient Surgery
Description: A surgical procedure performed to reshape the lower torso and upper legs, the belly, hips, back, buttocks and/or thighs.  May be performed in stages rather tha in one surgical session.
Average Cost: $15,000 – $35,000
Length of Surgery: 4-8 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Return to work in 3-6 weeks.  Resume strenuous activity after 6-12 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Bleeding, infection, fluid collection, nerve damage, skin loss, asymmetry, irregular scar formation, blood clots, complications related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Permanent, as long as weight remains stable.
Pros: Dramatic improvement of appearance.
Cons: Extensive scarring, significant recovery time.

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Tummy Tuck – Inpatient or Outpatient Surgery
Description: Flattening of the abdomen by removal of excess fat and/or skin.  May include tightening of abdominal muscles.
Average Cost: $4,000 – $15,000
Length of Surgery: 2-5 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Back to work in 2-6 weeks.  Strenuous activity in 8-12 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Blood clots, infections,internal bleeding, irregular scar formation, skin loss, complicatios related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Permanent.  However weight loss or gain and pregnancy can affect results.

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Breast Reduction – Hospital Stay May Be Recommended
Description: Removal of fat, glandular tissue and skin to make breasts smaller, lighter, and firmer.
Average Cost: $4,000 – $15,000
Length of Surgery: 2-5 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Back to work in 2-4 weeks.  Strenuous activity in 4-6 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Bleeding, infection, asymmetry,irregular scar formation, permanent loss of sensation in breasts and/or nipples, loss of tissue, complications related to anesthesia.  Breast-feeding may ot be possible.
Duration of Results: Permanent, but weight gain or loss and aging can affect results.

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Breast Augmentation – Outpatient Surgery
Description: Insertion of a saline- or silicone-filled implant to enlarge breast size, enhance shape, and/or improve asymmetry.
Average Cost: $3,500 – $8,000
Length of Surgery: 1-2 Hours
Anesthesia: General or local with intravenous sedation.
Recovery Time: Return to work in 7-10 days.  Resume vigorous actiivity in 3-4 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once, although implants may not last a lifetime and you may choose, or need, to replace them.
Risks: Infection, loss of sensation, accumulatio of blood requiring drainage, contraction of scar capsule surrounding implant, deflation or leakage of implant, comoplications related to anesthesia.  Implants may make it more difficult to read mammograms.
Duration of Results: Long-lasting, though gravity and age may eventually alter breast shape and size.

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Breast Reconstruction – Inpatient/Outpatient Surgery
Description: This procedure may include the insertion of an implant or the use of a woman’s own tissue in reconstructing the breast. Although the results will never identically match the breast that was lost or disfigured, reconstruction can remarkably improve a woman’s body image and self-confidence as well as help her feel whole again.
Average Cost: Varies depending on the technique, insurance coverage, and procedures to the opposite breast needed to achieve symmetry.
Length of Surgery: 2-10 Hours
Anesthesia: Primary procedures, general; secondary procedures, general or local with sedation.
Recovery Time: 2-6 Weeks
Treatment Frequency: More than pone planned stage may be necessary to achieve a reasonable result
Risks: Bleeding, infection, asymmetry, irregular scar formation, permanent loss of sensation and loss of tissue in the breasts or donor sites; complications related to anesthesia, capsular contracture if a breast implant is used in reconstruction.

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Buttock Implants – Outpatient Surgery
Description: Solid silicone elastomer implants are placed under, inside, or over the buttock muscles to add volume.
Average Cost: $6,000 – $12,000
Length of Surgery: 2 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Back to work within 2 weeks.  Rsume ormal activity in 6 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Bleeding infection, irregular scar formation, shifting or visibility beneath the skin, complications related to anesthesia.  Removing implants without replacing them may result in a disfigured appearance.
Duration of Results: Permanent, but weight gain or loss and aging can affect results.

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Thigh Lift – Inpatient/Outpatient Surgery
Description: A surgical procedure performed to reshape the thighs by removing excess skin and, in some cases, fat.
Average Cost: $6,000 – $20,000
Length of Surgery: 2-6 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Back to work in 1 month.  Resume normal activity in 3 months.
Treatment Frequency: Usually once
Risks: Bleeding, infection, irregular scar formation, complications related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Permanent, but weight gain or loss and aging can affect results.

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Liposuction – Inpatient/Outpatient Surgery
Description: Body sculpting through removal of fat from localized areas of the body.  Techniques include ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), power-assisted lipoplasty (PAL), superwet and tumescent techniques.
Average Cost: $1,500 – $5,000 per area
Length of Surgery: Varies according to number of sites, technique, amount of fat to be removed, and type of anesthesia.
Anesthesia: Local, local with intravenous sedation, regional (e.g. epidural block), or general.
Recovery Time: Depending on the areas treated and the extent of liposuction, back to work within 3-21 days and resumt strenuous activity in 3-8 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Once, as long as weight is maintained.
Risks: Infection, fat or blood clots, excessive fluid loss, friction burns, nerve damage, adverse reaction to the anesthetic and epinephrine used in tumescence, numbness, asymetry, contour irregularities or dimpling, pigmentation changes, sagging skin, irregular scar formation, complications related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Noticeable improvement in the first few days through four weeks, but continued improvement for 6 months post-surgery as swelling decreases.  Results must be maintained with proper diet and exercise.

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Buttock Lift – Inpatient/Outpatient Surgery
Description: A surgical procedure performed to reshape the buttocks by removing excess skin and reducing or redistributing fat.
Average Cost: $8,000 – $20,000
Length of Surgery: 3-4 Hours
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: Back to work in 2 weeks.  Resume normal activity in 6 weeks.
Treatment Frequency: Usually once
Risks: Bleeding, infection, irregular scar formation, complications related to anesthesia.
Duration of Results: Permanent, but weight gain or loss and aging can affect results.

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Vaginal Rejuvenation – Inpatient/Outpatient Surgery
Description: Vaginal rejuvenation enhances vaginal muscle tone, reduces and restores the caliber and diameter of the vagina back to normal and improves the amount of friction encountered during intercourse.  Labiaplasty or perineoplasty addresses the external appearance of the vagina while vaginoplasty addresses the internal structure of the vagina.
Average Cost: $4,500 – $14,000 depending on the type of procedure.
Length of Surgery: 1-2 Hours
Anesthesia: General or epidural anesthesia
Recovery Time: Typically a few days. Most normal activities can be resumed 1 week after surgery.
Treatment Frequency: Once
Risks: Mild discomfort and soreness, which can be managed with pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
Duration of Results: Results may last a lifetime unless pregnancy and vaginal childbirth occurs, or if pelvic organ problems occur.

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