The Art of Plastic Surgery

Plastic and cosmetic surgeries don’t have to be major procedures to have a big impact. From scar removal to rhinoplasty, there are many procedures that make only minor adjustments to the body, but can completely change the way a patient looks and feels. Discover the skill and art behind plastic surgery.

Art of Plastic Surgery Infographic

How Plastic Surgeons Use Subtle Techniques to Create a Major Impact


Rhinoplasty is a surgery that enhances the proportions of the nose. This surgery can also correct structural defects in the nose, like a deviated septum, that causes impaired breathing. During the procedure, surgeons make incisions either completely hidden inside the nose (“closed rhinoplasty”) or add an incision on the skin across the columella (the skin that separates the nostrils, this is called an “open” rhinoplasty), and then they remove cartilage or bone from the nose to reshape it. Although only tiny adjustments are made to the structure of the nose, this procedure can completely change a patient’s appearance.

Body Contouring

Body contouring is a procedure that can follow major weight loss or pregnancy, and involves removing excess fat and skin and often tightening underlying muscle. After a person loses a lot of weight, their skin and tissue do not have the elasticity to conform to their new body. Skilled plastic surgeons must step in to help contour the body and help it take its new shape. Body contouring procedures include:
● Facelifts
● Breast lifts
● Tummy tucks
● Thigh lifts
● Arm lifts


This procedure removes excess fat from the body to improve contours and overall body proportion. Surgeons create small incisions over each target area and use liposuction to contour and remove excess fat. With just a minor incision and a few short hours in surgery, a plastic surgeon can change the shape and proportions of a body. The fat cells removed during this surgery do not grow back. However, this procedure is not a substitute for healthy eating and exercise; in fact, once the doctor has done his or her job, it is up to the patient to continue healthy habits to maintain her or his results. Liposuction can be performed on:
● Thighs
● Waist
● Upper arms
● Back
● Chest
● Face
● Calves and ankles

Breast Lift

Pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuations, and gravity can result in saggy breasts. It is natural for skin to lose elasticity and for breasts to begin to droop. In order to restore the youthful appearance of breasts, a breast lift, or mastopexy, is a great option. To perform a breast lift, incisions are made around the areola, down the breast, and often underneath the breast as well so that surgeons can lift underlying breast tissue. The nipple and areola are then repositioned and excess skin is removed. During this procedure the size of the areola can also be reduced and breast symmetry can be restored, and breast implants can often be used simultaneously to restore volume and fullness.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States. Women undergo this surgery to restore lost breast volume from weight loss or pregnancy, to balance breast size, or for other aesthetic reasons. This procedure involves inserting breast implants underneath breast tissue or muscle to increase breast size. Implants can be filled with saline or silicone and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Breast augmentation can also be performed using fat instead of implants and is known as a fat transfer breast augmentation.

Neck Lift

As the skin ages, it is susceptible to sagging, especially around the jawline and neck. A neck lift, also known as a lower rhytidectomy, reduces excess fat and skin relaxation of the lower face, removes fatty deposits and loose neck skin, and helps contour the face to restore youthfulness. During a neck lift, incisions are made under the chin, and in front of and behind both ears, extending to the hairline. Not only is excess skin removed, but muscles are also tightened to reestablish jawline and neckline definition and to reduce jowling. This procedure does not stop the aging process, but can take years off of current appearance.

How Plastic Surgeons Use Multiple Methods to Reducing Scarring

Scarring is the body’s natural healing response, but can result in undesired marks and blemishes to the skin. It is also a natural result of plastic or cosmetic procedures; any time a cut is made into the skin, scarring occurs; however, there are many methods that plastic and cosmetic surgeons employ in order to reduce scarring; whether it is a result of surgery, age, or other incidents. The effectiveness of these methods does depend on age, skin tone, depth and size of incision, and genetics.

Surgical Technique

Experience and careful handling of tissue are the first step to reduce scarring. Plastic and cosmetic surgeons typically avoid using heavy, larges sutures; they instead often use sutures that are placed under the skin and absorb into the body. This kind of suture eliminates the need for removal, and avoids unnecessary external marks.

Scar Location

The location of a scar plays a large role in scarring. Plastic surgeons are trained to hide scars, as they know the areas of the body that are less likely to scar poorly. Eyelids and facial areas heal the best. Backs, shoulders, joints, and breastbones are areas that may create a thicker, darker scar. While no scar from cosmetic surgeries can be completely hidden, but scars in certain positions will fade very nicely over time; for example, facelift scars are hidden around the ear and hairline.

Silicone Sheeting

Silicone sheeting can often reduce the thickness of certain scars. Silicone sheeting can also reduce swelling, redness, and itching in many cases.

Post-op Care

After any procedure, the body needs time to heal. Patients should make sure to take their prescribed medication, avoid sun exposure, rest for the instructed about of time, and abide by any diet or activity restrictions in order to minimize complications. In order to speed up recovery time, some patients will require draining tubes, surgical bras, or fresh bandages.

Activity Restrictions

Some procedures may require specific activity restrictions such as avoiding strenuous activities or vigorous exercise. Patients may be allowed to resume their normal activities within a few days or weeks, while others may require a longer recovery period.

 Follow Doctor’s Instructions

All restrictions and post-op care are thought out carefully by a plastic surgeon to ensure the best outcome with scarring and full recovery. Dr. Salemy will instruct each patient on specific recovery instructions according to their procedure. Following the doctor’s orders will help patients achieve optimal results and satisfaction.

Feel confident and comfortable with plastic surgery now that you understand the art and precision put into each specific procedure. Want to learn more or sign up for a consultation? Visit us at Dr. Salemy.