The Four Basic Steps in Plastic Surgery- #1

On my way to work, frost on crab apples    just before dawn.  

There are four basic steps that are followed in any cosmetic surgery procedure.   I progress through these steps in completing surgery for my patients.   I will describe each step in a 4-part outline, which will post over the next few days.   I have also discussed them in detail for Leah’s recent abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgical film clip series, which posted last week.

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 go away.   It will fade with time.   Placement of the incision is crucial.   Before the surgery starts, the surgical plan is typically drawn on the skin.   The plan represents the aesthetic design aspect of cosmetic surgery.

Please check back next time for Part 2 of this series and coming soon:                     Lisa’s Rhinoplasty  surgery (nose job) blog.

The plan determines where the permanent scar(s) will be located, what they will look like after surgery and whether they will be covered with clothing, camouflaged by make up, obscured by hair style, hidden within body orifices (nostrils) or concealed within the natural creases of the face or body.   My overall philosophy is to utilize all these elements, so that minimal efforts are sufficient to keep any scars out of sight after cosmetic surgery.

I also design most surgery scars to be as short as possible. The length of a scar will ultimately be determined by the goals of the surgery and the limitations of technology.   Obviously, a longer scar will usually be more conspicuous than a shorter scar.  For instance, I use a 2 cm incision to do breast enlargement with saline implants. The implant simply cannot be inserted through a smaller scar at this time.

Please check back next time for Part 2 of this series and coming soon:                     Lisa’s Rhinoplasty surgery (nose job) blog.



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