Cosmetic surgery refers to a surgical procedure undertaken to reshape and change the appearance of a body part. It may change the structure, position, color or texture of a body part or feature and is initiated by an individual who is unsatisfied with their appearance, rather than by a doctor who thinks the surgery will improve the individual’s health. There are also many other treatments undertaken for cosmetic purposes which do not involve surgery but change the structure of body tissues.

Cosmetic surgery techniques and procedures

There are numerous operative techniques used in cosmetic surgery including:

  • Lipoplasty (liposuction): This involves the removal of fat from the body through small cuts in the skin using suction techniques;
  • Augmentation: This involves the implantation of devices to increase the size of a body feature (e.g. the breasts);
  • Body contouring including lifts and tucks: These are procedures in which loose skin is removed and remaining skin tightened to give a more toned appearance;
  • Reshaping procedures: The contour or shape of a feature is changed. These procedures might involve implants or removal or reshaping of bone or cartilage;
  • Dermabrasion: This involves the scraping away of layers of skin; and
  • Hair replacement: Skin with good hair growth is grafted onto bald areas where hair growth is desired.