Popular Cosmetic Procedures: The Benefits, Techniques and Risks

Posted December 27, 2014 by in Health + Fitness

We work out, we watch what we eat, and we stay up-to-date on all the latest trends in health, fitness and beauty. However, for some of us, working out and eating right just isn’t enough. For example, many of us are genetically predisposed to certain body types, while others suffer from conditions or irregularities that are immune to our efforts of staying in shape. For these reasons, women (and men) often turn to cosmetic procedures for help in looking and feeling their absolute best.

Keep reading for the most popular cosmetic procedures among women, including information on techniques, costs, risks and more.

Popular Cosmetic Procedures: The Benefits, Techniques and Risks

Breast Augmentation

By far one of the most popular cosmetic procedures among women, the breast augmentation involves the use of implants to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. Breast augmentation procedures are great for women unsatisfied by the size and shape of their breasts, as well as those looking to correct asymmetry or other irregularities.

Typically, the cost of breast augmentation is between $3,000 and $6,000. The risks are slim, and include breast pain, rupture, additional surgeries in case of a problem, and the usual risks of anesthesia. Also, it’s important to note that some types of augmentations are associated with more risks than others. For example, according to Dr. Jason Hess of Jason Hess Plastic Surgery, transumbilical augmentation, a technique which involves placing implants above the muscles of the breasts, is more likely to lead to rippling, asymmetry and other complications.

Breast Lift

Like breast augmentations, breast lifts are performed in order to enhance the shape and symmetry of the breasts. However, breast lifts do not involve the use of implants; instead, these procedures include the use of surgical reshaping, as well as tightening and lifting the skin of the breasts. Breast lifts are common among women who have given birth, as well as those who have experienced sagging as a result of aging or genetics.

Depending on where you live, a breast lift procedure can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. Risks are rare, but can include blood clotting, nerve damage and breast irregularities. The average recovery time is a few weeks, with most patients resuming normal activities within a week or two of surgery.


Liposuction is a procedure designed to enhance the contours of the body by removing unwanted fat from areas like the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs and upper arms. This is achieved through the use of a small tube, which is attached to a powerful suctioning device. The tube is placed under the skin in the targeted areas, where it suctions out unwanted fat. Liposuction is often used by women looking to get rid of fat in hard-to-reach places, when diet and exercise just aren’t enough.

Depending on the amount of liposuction necessary, these procedures range drastically in price; however, initial treatments usually cost around $3,000. The risks associated with liposuction include contour irregularities (typically due to poor elasticity in the skin or uneven fat removal), fluid buildup, numbness and infection.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure designed to improve the body’s contours by  removing excess skin from the abdominal area. These procedures can also restore the shape of the abdominal muscles, which lends to a smoother, firmer, more youthful profile. Abdominoplasty procedures are often performed after childbirth or drastic weight loss, or when genetics or other factors lead to sagging skin and weakened abdominal muscles.

On average, a tummy tuck procedure costs around $5,000. Risks include bleeding, fluid buildup, infection and risks associated with anesthesia. Abdominoplasty is not recommended for women who plan on losing a significant amount of weight, or those planning future pregnancies.

Working out and eating a healthy, balanced diet can definitely enhance our health and appearance. However, if you think plastic surgery is right for you, talk to a doctor about your options. Keep your expectations healthy, and know that there’s no shame in getting the body you’ve always wanted. Good luck!

*This post was contributed.