Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Glossary of Modern Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
A lot of talk is bandied about these days about the latest and greatest cosmetic procedures to remove wrinkles and discoloration, and recontour and resurface the skin to help you look and feel younger. These treatments can be confusing and intimidating, so in the interest of explaining what is what among modern cosmetic procedures, here’s a short list of common and popular treatments.
It should be noted that these treatments are all to be performed by a qualified medical professional and are not to be performed by anyone without a proper license.
Reloxin is a new brand of botulinum toxin which should be FDA approved within a year. The expected cost of reloxin is expected to be comparable to Botox.
Chemical peels: In the typical chemical peel, an acid solution is painted on the face like a mask to dissolve and lift away upper layers of the skin. The effects depend on the strength of the solution used (the higher the concentration—and longer it's left on—the deeper they go). Most chemical peels are formulated for specific skin types and to combat specific problems in the skin: superficial peels use glycolic or salicylic acid (better for oily skin); trichloroacetic acid (TCA) offers more intense exfoliation (and a few days of flaking and redness).
The cost of a chemical peel obviously depends on its composition with an average cost of $100 to $200 for a glycolic or salicylic acid peel (series of three to six is standard); $250 for a mild (less than 25 percent) TCA peel. Do note that these peels are usually performed in a series of multiple treatments.
CO2 laser: Laser treatments are fast becoming a preferred treatment for the previously troubling problems of skin discoloration and wrinkles. These treatments are "ablative" resurfacing processes which vaporize the top layers of the skin (epidermis) before penetrating the dermis. Very often, one single treatment can obliterate dark spots and can smooth and soften deep wrinkles. However, due to the nature of the process, it can leave your face red for months. The average cost of an ablative resurfacing treatment can run from $5,000 and up.
Collagen: Collagen treatments have been around for a very long time, but have had some dramatic advances since the original collagen injections were first used. Previously, collagen was created from bovine tissue (cows) and often caused allergic reactions. Now there are two forms of human collagen (bioengineered from human foreskin tissue): CosmoDerm is thinner and primarily used in fine lines and along the lip border and CosmoPlast has a thicker consistency preferable for deeper wrinkles. They have largely replaced bovine collagen, which requires an allergy test. Typical collagen treatments usually last only two to six months, but there's less risk of temporary bruising and swelling than with other fillers. The average cost of collagen injections cost $400 per injection. Your doctor will discuss with you the number of injections recommended and scheduled before a collagen treatment is performed.
Endoscopic brow lift: One of the classic “face lift” procedures, this procedure is intended to tighten the skin of the forehead and smooth lines and wrinkles. This surgical procedure is modified brow lift that requires three to five small incisions at the hairline. On average, this type of surgical procedure will cost from $5,000 to $6,000, depending on the setting of the procedure (and can cost more if there are separate charges from the facility at which the service is performed.
Fat transfer: This procedure is exactly what it sounds like, and is possibly the most often joked about cosmetic procedure done today. It is different from liposuction procedures like laser liposuction, which destroys fat cells. Fat is harvested from one part of the body (usually the stomach, thighs, or butt) and is then used to re-contour the face. Fat transfer procedures have a variable longevity as the transferred tissue can be reabsorbed into the body or will “settle” and reposition itself over time. The typical procedure will last from six months to two years. Average costs for a fat transfer procedure varies according to the scope of the transfer being undertaken, and can start around $1,200 and up.
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