According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there are about 17.7 million cosmetic procedures performed annually, of which 15.9 million are minimally-invasive. If we were to add the almost two million surgical procedures such as breast augmentation or liposuction, we could say people are investing quite a lot of time in their appearance.
But apart from these more common procedures, there are also less common ones meant to fix problems you didn’t even know about. Let’s see some of them!
Buccal fat removal
Defined cheekbones are quite popular these days, and doctors are using dermal filler to make them more prominent. Apart from this procedure, doctors are also doing a procedure that’s called “buccal fat removal” which consists in eliminating the fat pads in the cheeks.
“Buccal fat removal is a little-known procedure that’s generally performed for patients who say they have chipmunk cheeks that make them look like their older family members,” says Brent Moelleken, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. If you’re interested in buccal fat removal, you should know that it is somewhat permanent and only a handful of doctors know how to reverse the effects, warns Dr. Moelleken.
Yes, apparently eyebrow transplant is a thing! “Over-plucking of the eyebrows is the most common reason people are looking to restore them,” explains Miami facial plastic surgeon, Jeffrey Epstein, MD.
Instead of filling them in with a pencil or powder, people resort to a more permanent solution. As a matter of fact, a 2017 study in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery called it a “popular procedure”, especially among women aged 35 to 45 who over-tweezed their brows. Eyebrows are also affected by the aging process so it’s not unusual for women and even men over 50 to also resort to eyebrow transplant, according to Dr. Epstein.
The procedure consists in taking hair from a “donor area” (generally, the back of the head) and transplant it to the brow area. It pretty much resembles hair transplant but on a much smaller scale.
Cute as a belly button does not always apply. Not because people are not cute but their belly buttons might not look that great due to loose skin, hernias, or a post-pregnancy outie. Luckily, they can now resort to belly button surgery, or umbilicoplasty in medical terms, and change the reshape their belly button. This procedure can be carried out alone or as part of another surgery such as a tummy tuck or breast reconstruction. “Not all patients have the goal of wearing a two-piece swimsuit, but many do, and I want these patients to be able to do so without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their new belly button,” says Michael Law, MD, a plastic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dimples are very cute, not to mention desirable. Those dreaming of displaying these adorable “deformities” can now resort to dimpleplasty, a minimally invasive technique that creates permanent, natural-looking dimples on the cheek or chin.
“The decision to perform dimpleplasty requires a detailed discussion with the patient to understand their wishes and make sure they understand the risks and benefits,” says David Shafer, MD, New York City plastic surgeon. “Unlike fillers that can be dissolved or Botox, which always metabolizes away in three to five months, surgical procedures give permanent results.” Keep in mind that “dimples created by dimpleplasty can sometimes occur even at rest, especially during the first few weeks to months after surgery” not only when you smile, warns Dr. Shafer.
No Dracula involved here, so put the garlic away! But this nonsurgical cosmetic procedure does include drawing your blood, processing it to isolate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and then re-injecting it to eliminate wrinkles and make you look younger.
Platelets are your blood’s way of asking for help, says Kevin Sadati, MD, a plastic surgeon in Orange County, California. “They contain growth factors and healing properties that boost the immune system,” he explains. This procedure adds around 10 to 15 percent more volume in your face and can last for a few years.
Everyone ones fuller, plumper lips. Instead of using fillers such as collagen or hyaluronic acid-based ones, which are not permanent and last around 6 to 8 months, you might want to give lip lift a try.
This in-office surgical procedure reduces the space between the nose and the top of the lip. “The main problem is that the elongated space makes the top lip sag and look thinner. Once the length of the space is shortened a tiny bit, it gives the entire face a more youthful appearance,” says Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD, a plastic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland. “I love doing this procedure because it makes such a big difference,” adds Dr. Rodriguez.
CoolSculpting the chin
No matter how many facial exercises we do, sometimes it’s just not enough to get rid of the double chin. CoolSculpting or cryolipolysis, is a cosmetic treatment to remove areas of body fat like the one underneath the chin. According to Sheila Nazarian, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, the results can be observed after two months and for the best results, you need one to three treatments on that particular area. “The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won’t go away no matter what,” says Dr. Nazarian.
Not everyone is happy with the way they look. Some want dimples, some want prominent cheeks while others want nothing to do with the phrase “all ears”. In other words, they want to have smaller, less protruding ears. Enter otoplasty. This cosmetic ear surgery can help people unhappy with the way their ears look like to change the shape, position, or size of the ears and bring them into better proportion with the face. It only takes 45 minutes per ear can be performed under local anesthesia for adults and under sedation for children.
“The results are quite life-changing for most patients,” says Michelle R. Yagoda, MD, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in New York City.
Believe it or not, women don’t hate their belly or buttocks the most. According to certain beauty specialists, the most hated part of the female body is….drumrolls please…the knee. “Almost every woman who comes in for lipo hates her knees,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist from Omaha, Neb. “Perhaps because they can easily see them in the mirror, whereas they can’t always see the hips and thighs.”
According to Schlessinger, knee liposuction is generally performed along with other areas, but not all women are allowed to under this procedure. “Not all women have fat there,” he says. “Many times it’s muscle.” Those who do get to have their knee lipo can recover in one r two days.
Many people. women, in particular, want to get rid of aging lines on their faces and necks in order to look younger. One of the techniques you can now resort to if you want to say goodbye to the horizontal lines across your neck is injecting the area with Botox or Dysport. While it’s not a plastic surgery per say, “it’s a very advanced technique, and should only be done by someone who’s very experienced,” says Dr. Hema Sundaram. “If the technique or the dosage is not done right, you can weaken the neck muscles or have dry mouth or difficulty swallowing.”
“If you inject Dysport or Botox into the muscle around the jawline, you get this lovely lifting effect,” she says. “It’s nonsurgical but it makes your neck look long and graceful” for three to five months.
Those unhappy with their chubby chankles (when a person does not have a clear shape between their calves and ankles) can solve this perceived problem with the help of liposuction. Due to the fact it is performed in a delicate area, not all plastic surgeons agree with cankle lipo, warning about the severe pain, excessive post-surgery swelling and the lengthy recovery time of such a procedure.
“The ankle is a tough area,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “There’s not a lot of fat there but there are a lot of nerves and blood vessels and the lymphatics that allow fluid to drain are somewhat less available in that area. Trauma to them can lead to swelling which leads to a prolonged recovery.” According to Dr. Schlessinger“There are so many other areas where tumescent liposuction performs brilliantly. But this isn’t one of them.”