When Bigger Surgery is Better and When It is Not

It is tempting to have a cosmetic procedure that gives us minimal scars and cost less especially if it will replace a more expensive operation of higher risk with a longer scar. The problem is that if a less expensive, smaller scar operation does not fix the problem, you may not get the result you want and then it was not worth it.

Three Examples When This May Happen:

1. Having liposuction when the problem is loose skin and muscle.

The Problem-You have had children or you have gained and lost a substantial amount of weight, you have a bulge in your abdomen and you want it to be flat. You get liposuction and it looks worse. Loose skin looks even worse when fat is gone, it makes the bulge more obvious.

The Solution-You needed a tummy tuck which removes the excess skin and repairs the muscle.

2. Having a thread lift or getting fillers when you need a face and neck lift.

The Problem-You have jowls and loose neck skin so you decide to get a thread lift and fillers. The thread lift last 6 months and you have gotten minimal correction of the jowls and saggy skin. The fillers replaced volume loss but the saggy skin still remains.

The Solution-If you need a face lift but cannot afford one, do not waste your money on a temporary, poor substitute. Save your money for a face lift or evaluate how you can make yourself look better with a less expensive procedure. Two less expensive procedures that freshen the face are CO2 fractionated laser to tighten and resurface the skin or an upper eyelid lift to open up hooded eyes.

3. Having a fat transfer to the breast instead of breast implants.

The Problem-You have fat transferred to your breast instead of breast implants. A third of the fat does not survive and much of the result vanishes once your swelling goes away. You only get a half a cup larger with one session and need 2 or more procedures to achieve the size breasts you want. You could have had breast implants which involves one surgery and less cost.

The Solution-If you want larger breasts and can have breast implants, this is the way to go. Fat transfer is very unpredictable and gets expensive if you need multiple procedures.

When doing less surgery is the right approach. Here are a few examples:

  1. A lip lift is a minor surgery done in the office under local anesthetic . It increases the prominence of the vermilion border giving you a fuller upper lip. You do not need a face lift to lift the upper lift.
  2. Injectable fillers are good for increasing lost volume in the face, not a face lift. A face lift restores structure and gets rid of excess skin it does not replace fat loss due to aging. In many cases, after a face lift you will need filler or a fat transfer to replace lost volume.
  3. A face lift will tighten the face and get rid of excess skin but it does not repair sun damaged skin. For sun damaged skin you need to have use medical grade skin care, have a chemical peel or laser resurfacing.

Cosmetic plastic surgery has so many options. To choose the right procedure see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. A well trained plastic surgeon should explain all your options and help you choose the right one for you.