Terms to add to your plastic surgery glossary
July 11, 2013
If you're in the early stages of planning a plastic surgery procedure, you've likely come across a few terms that have made you stop and scratch your head. Squaring away some of these phrases will prove useful as you prepare for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, so let's go over a few of the most common terms you'll encounter:
Cookie-cutter plastic surgery
Cookies are a delicious treat, but cookie-cutter plastic surgery is not something you want. This term refers to doctors who use the same procedures and techniques to treat all of their patients. A good plastic surgeon will help you design a plastic surgery plan that works for your body type and specific needs. If you don't feel you're getting an individual treatment, then it may be best to look for a new doctor.
Back-alley plastic surgery
This is another term that you should avoid. Back-alley plastic surgery is a scary trend that involves undertrained or unqualified individuals offering plastic surgery procedures at a discounted price. More often than not, these shady deals end up causing physical harm (or worse) to the patient. Under no circumstances should you sacrifice quality of care for price.
Invasive vs. noninvasive
As you read through potential plastic surgery procedures, you'll see the terms "invasive" and "noninvasive" quite frequently. In short, invasive procedures involve at least minor surgery, and often require the use of general anesthesia. Examples of invasive procedures include facelifts, breast augmentation and liposuction. Noninvasive procedures can often be done on an outpatient basis and have little to no recovery time, though results may not last as long. Botox injections, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are all good examples.
The term "medispa" is quite common in the world of plastic surgery, and you'll hear differing opinions on whether or not they are a good thing. Essentially, these facilities are locations that offer both typical spa treatments as well as noninvasive cosmetic treatments. There have been many stories in the news over the past few years about medispas that were allowing untrained individuals to administer cosmetic medicines, so make sure there is a board-certified plastic surgeon overseeing the facility.
Words that end in "-plasty"
As you're performing your research, you may stumble upon words like lipoplasty or abdominoplasty. Don't be fooled - these aren't new procedures you've never heard of. Rather, they're clinical terms for liposuction and tummy tucks. If it ends in "-plasty," odds are it's describing a procedure that has a more colloquial synonym.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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