1. Health

Plastic Surgery Step-By-Step

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Updated September 28, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

By the time you add up all the years spent in college, medical school, and plastic surgery training, a plastic surgeon has spent 13 to 16 years of her life in the process of becoming a plastic surgeon (16 years total in my case)!

However, you don’t have to go through all that schooling to learn what goes on in the operating room during a plastic surgery procedure! In this section, you will get to see plastic surgery through the eyes of the surgeon. A step-by-step approach has been used to describe various plastic surgery procedures.

  • How Is a Breast Reduction Done?
  • Decreasing the size and improving the shape of large breasts can be truly life-changing. Back pain, shoulder marks/grooving from bra straps, difficulty exercising, difficulty finding clothing and just general self-consciousness about having big breasts are all legitimate reasons for having breast reduction surgery. You can learn more about how the procedure is actually performed.

  • How Is a Breast Lift Done?
  • Do your breasts hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder like a Continental soldier? If so, a breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, may be just what you need. Like a breast reduction, a breast lift lifts the breasts, making them perkier. Unlike a breast reduction, the breast volume is not decreased with a breast lift.

  • How Is a Tummy Tuck Done?
  • Sometimes sit-ups, crunches, yoga and Pilates are not enough. Extra tummy skin that results from pregnancy and/or massive weight loss will not go away with exercise. Luckily, there is a solution to this dilemma. Read here for more on how this excess skin is permanently removed.

  • How Is a Breast Augmentation with Implants Done?
  • One of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, breast augmentation can give a psychological boost to the woman who is lacking in that area. Breast augmentation can be approached through a variety of incisions. Learn all about what it takes to transition an A-cup into a C-cup.

  • How Is Breast Augmentation with Fat Done?
  • Breast implants have been used safely for many years. However, for those of you who are still worried about placing a foreign object into your breasts, there is an alternative. Your own fat (that is, if you have enough fat) can be harvested and then injected into the breasts for enhancement. There are some limitations, but this is a great alternative for women who just can’t bear the thought of having breast implants.

  • How Is a Facelift Done?
  • A facelift is not as macabre as it sounds. In the right hands, this procedure can really enhance a person’s well being and confidence. For some, facial rejuvenation is crucial to maintaining their careers. Read all about the step-by-step of how plastic surgeons can turn back the hands of time.

  • How Is Liposuction Done?
  • A moment on the lip, a lifetime on the hips! Not so with the help of liposuction! This transforming procedure has helped many lean-and-mean gymrats combat those stubborn areas that will not go away with exercise. For those of you whose fat is not localized to certain areas, but is more generalized, liposuction can work wonders for you as well. Read all about how it’s done!

  • How Is Cheek Augmentation Done?
  • Not born with high cheek bones but you love that look? Or perhaps your once high cheek bones have been affected by gravity? Cheek augmentation with implants is one way to enhance the face. The procedure is described here.

  • How Is Fat Transfer Done?
  • Have you ever wondered if there are any advantages to having extra "padding?" Well, there’s at least one. Your fat can be used to enhance your breasts, your face, your buttocks, the back of your hands and much more! Read here to learn how.

  • How Is Eyelid Surgery Done?
  • Tired of people saying, "You look tired." Do the bags under your eye have to be checked in as luggage at the airport? Are you ready for eyelid rejuvenation? Learn the steps of making your eyes look more youthful.

  • How Is a Brazilian Butt Lift Done?
  • Butt enhancement is becoming more and more popular. Celebrities with ample "assets" – Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé - have started a new trend. While having nice, tight buttocks has always been en vogue, a nice, tight and bigger derriere is now the goal of many women...and some men.

  • How Is a Stem Cell Facelift Done?
  • What makes a stem cell facelift different from a traditional facelift? There are much smaller incisions, less recovery time and less concern about a "windblown" or "pulled" appearance. In short, you are using your fat and your stem cells to reduce the appearance of sagging, lines and wrinkles on your face. Read here to learn all about the process.

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