4 Steps for Cosmetic Surgery: Let’s Begin

13.8 million people had  surgery cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States in 2011, according to he American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). For all of the procedures involving actual surgery, these four universal steps are followed.  In this series, I will describe each of the steps in doing cosmetic surgery.  Let’s start at the beginning.

Step 1: Skin Incision.

The first step in all cosmetic surgery is to cut the skin.   Whenever the skin is incised through its full thickness, a permanent scar is left.  By permanent, I mean the scar will never completely go away, but as cosmetic surgeons, we are trained in ways to minimize the appearance of scars.  So, before the surgery starts, a surgical plan is designed and typically drawn on the skin, similar to the diagram of a football play you might have seen on TV.  Careful placement and design of the incision are crucial steps to minimize leaving a visible scar, which will continue to fade substantially with time.

This initial surgical plan represents the aesthetic design aspect that is the cornerstone of all cosmetic plastic surgery.   Of course, with purely elective cosmetic surgery, I have the luxury of time to plan and execute an aesthetic design.   This is not always the case in a hospital setting when critical surgery is necessary.

Please check back next time for Part 2 of this series.  

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