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Staying Power

Plastic surgery has certainly come a long way since Gaspare Tagliacozzie, who is considered the father of plastic surgery. He became famous for performing reconstructive surgery on soldiers whose noses had been amputated in war during the 1500s. Despite his fame, the first recorded nose surgery took place around 600 B.C. in India.

Needless to say, there have been a few improvements since then! These days, elective medical cosmetic surgery is consistently gaining in popularity for changing everything from the shape of your nose to the size of your belly, the contour of your breasts, and the tautness of your tush. In 2017, $16.7 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The top five surgeries for that year include breast augmentations, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks. Interestingly, buttock augmentation beat the tummy tuck in 2016 to claim a top five spot.

“These surgeries are consistently popular because they address things that consistently bother people. Popular culture hasn’t changed,” said Alan Matarasso, MD, president of the ASPS, who practices in Manhattan, New York. There are moreand more attempts to address these issues non-surgically with fillers, lasers, and other methods that have little down-time, but, as Dr. Matarasso said, “Nothing can replace what surgery does.”

Top 5 Cosmetic Surgeries


This procedure involves using breast implants (silicone or saline) or fat transfer to enhance the size of the breasts and improve the balance of hip and breast contours. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes of implants to choose from and various ways to get these implants (or fat transfers) surgically. It is best to discuss all options with an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon.

“[Breast augmentation] remains in the top spot because women will continue to embrace flattering cleavage,” said Manish Shah, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Denver, Colorado. “What we will seeis an increase in requests for fat transfer to the breasts as the trend to smaller augmentations continues and more women try to avoid the use of implants. [But] implants will still be king.”


While minimally invasive procedures such as CoolSculpting and Zerona have gained serious traction in the last few years, the gold standard for fat removal is still liposuction. First approved in the United States in 1982, liposuction slims and reshapes areas of your body by removing stubborn fat deposits. Liposuction can treat the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, upper arms, back, inner knee, cheeks, chin, neck, calves, and ankles. It cannot, however, treat cellulite. For best results, you need to be at a healthy weight and have good elasticity in your skin.


More commonly called a nose job, this procedure is used to reshape the nose for aesthetic reasons, to create facial harmony, or to correct structural defects in the nose that make it hard for some people to breathe. “Rhinoplasty has amazing staying power simply because the nose sits in the center of the face,” said Dr. Shah. “Rhinoplasty surgery has an incredibly high satisfaction rate, but as it is considered the most difficult cosmetic surgery procedure, it should only be performed by a specialist.”


Called blepharoplasty, this procedure enhances the appearance of the eyes to make them look rejuvenated and more youthful. Surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids or lower or both to treat sagging skin, wrinkles, fatty deposits such as bags under your eyes, and drooping eyelids. “Whether you’re doing upper or lower, it’s a very quick recovery,” said Dr. Matarasso. “You can do it on a Friday and you can put makeup on and go to work the next Friday.” He also said surgery for bags under the eyes is permanent. That’s a plus!


Both weight loss and child birth lead to laxity of the abdominal wall, loose skin, and stretch marks. “A tummy tuck can fix most, if not all, of these problems and reshape a body into a far more flattering form,” said Dr. Shah. “Clothes then fit better and a sense of well being develops when the patient looks in the mirror. As far as tummy tucks are concerned, they will be a mainstay of plastic surgery forever.”

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