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Steps in Cosmetic Surgery: Closure

September 17th, 2012

13.8 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).  There are four universal steps to follow for all cosmetic procedure involving surgery.   As I have previously discussed so far, step one is incision, followed by dissection and sculpting.   This brings us to discussion of the final step, which is wound closure.

In elective cosmetic surgery cases, taking extra time to do an aesthetic closure is possible.  The first phase in wound closure is suturing (sewing) the skin and deeper tissues back together, also known as tissue approximation.   How well this is done will determine the physical appearance of the scar.  


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Steps in Cosmetic Surgery: Dissection

August 29th, 2012

Step 2: Dissection.

Over 1.5 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in the US last year according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Let’s continue my series about the four basic universal steps in performing these elective cosmetic surgery procedures.  The next step in the surgery after the incision has been made is to do the dissection.   Once the incision is made and the skin has been divided, access to the underlying tissues is possible.   Some degree of dissection is necessary to proceed with the next step of surgery.   Dissection is simply the division or separation of underlying structures in order to facilitate the proper cosmetic change.  

There are essentially two ways to accomplish this step.   Either a combination of skin and fat is released or skin, fat and muscle are released.   This choice depends on the type of cosmetic surgery being performed.   For example, liposuction releases skin and fat from the underlying fat and muscle.   Breast enlargement surgery releases skin, fat, breast tissue and muscle from ribs and muscle in order to properly place the implant.

Please check back next time for more of this series.

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