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Dr. Chris Moss | what to expect when going under the knife

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Ragan Communications and PR Daily, producers of the prestigious ACE Awards (Awarding Communication Excellence), has named The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) winner of the 2013 Award for its efforts in changing perceptions of the plastic surgery industry, notes Dr. Chris Moss.

The number of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States has increased over 50 percent since the start of the century. In 2012 there were over 10 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Since 1997 there has been a 250% increase in the number of cosmetic procedures. Surgical procedures increased by more than 80%, and nonsurgical procedures by 461%, according to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

The five most common surgeries are breast augmentation, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that of the 34 different cosmetic procedures, 19 are surgical. Nonsurgical procedures include Botox, hyaluronic acid, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and chemical peel.

In 2012, women had more than 9.1 million cosmetic procedures. The top 5 procedures for women are breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, cosmetic eyelid surgery, and breast lift. In the same year, men had almost 1 million procedures. The top 5 procedures for men are liposuction, nose job, eyelid surgery, cosmetic surgery for benign enlargement of breast tissue in males, and ear surgery to correct prominent ears.

According to the ASAPS, Americans spent $11 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2012. $6.7 billion was spent on surgical procedures, $2 billion on injectable procedures, $1.8 billion on skin rejuvenation and over $483 million on laser hair removal, and laser treatment of leg veins. The statistics break down the procedures by age, and ethnic and racial minorities. People in the age bracket 35-50 had most of the procedures at 43%, with the most common procedure of liposuction. People age 51-64 had 29% of the procedures, with the most common being blepharoplasty. The 19-34 age bracket had 19% of procedures with the most popular being breast augmentation. In all age ranges, the most popular nonsurgical was injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox). 21% of all procedures are made up of racial and ethnic minorities.

Plastic surgeons, including Dr. Chris Moss, for years have been emphasizing realistic patient expectations, avoidance of overselling, and truthful advertising. Surgeons should be informing patients about complications, presenting alternatives, and insisting on proper training and accredited facilities. These patient protections are not just good practice, but mandated by law and professional societies, according to the ASAPS.

Consumers looking for accurate, unbiased information about cosmetic surgery and medicine now have access to a comprehensive resource. The ASAPS and the 2,600 board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeons spent 2 years creating a comprehensive “Smart Beauty Guide”. The guide is the new consumer “face” of the society. Patient safety and public education are top priorities. “Through the Smart Beauty Guide we are empowering consumers with knowledge to make informed and intelligent decisions and help them meet their smart beauty goals,” said Sanjay Grover, MD, ASAPS Vice Commissioner for Communications. “Knowledge is a beautiful thing.”

Cosmetic surgery is now considered mainstream, with the Hollywood elite leading the way. With new technology and many procedures becoming less expensive, it is accessible to more and more people. Stars who have had cosmetic procedures include Star Jones, La Toya Jackson, Mariah Carey, Demi Moore, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Osbourne, Jennifer Aniston, and Pamela Anderson to name a few.

New York Fashion Week is one of the most highly anticipated events in the Big Apple, with people coming from all over the world. In 2013, for the first time ever, plastic surgery was incorporated opening and proudly into the runway show. A plastic surgeon organized the Faces of Beauty runway show, which had models strut their stuff while plastic surgery before-and-after photos flashed on TV screens, according to Time magazine. The concept was to dispel rumors about the cosmetic surgery industry. The models at Faces of Beauty were grouped not by the clothes they wore, but by the procedures they had undergone.

Cosmetic surgery won’t change your life. It won’t solve personal problems or make you look like someone else. But it may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well- being. Successful results often depend, in part, on how well the patient and surgeon communicate. Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that you are open with him or her about yoyour goals and questions. It is important that your surgeon understands yours reasons for wanting surgery, and what your expectations are. The most important reason is the patient is doing the surgery for themselves, it is to their benefit and not for someone else. Undergoing surgery is a major decision, and the patient should make sure they are prepared and well-informed.

Another thing to consider is expectations. What are you expecting to look like after surgery? How do you think the procedure will change your appearance? Many people are seeking natural-looking changes that enhance the way they look without appearing fake. These are also the types of results most surgeons are aiming for as well.

“Personally, I believe in a classic, natural, and soft beauty,” says Dr. Chris Moss. “Changes must often be subtle – yet never pulled, tight, artificial, or imbalanced. Patients want to look better, but never like a different person. This can only be achieved when the surgeon truly takes the time and effort to understand each individual patient and their requirements.”

It can be difficult for people to imagine how they will look following surgery. Trying to picture themselves, while looking at someone else’s body does not always work. VECTRA 3D simulation technology has been developed to help patients better visualize results. A high-tech machine takes pictures from different angles simultaneously and creates a three-dimensional image of a portion of the patient’s body.

Using special software the surgeon can manipulate this image to show a simulated view of how the person will look following surgery. This allows them to better see potential results. They can also make adjustments until they are satisfied with the look. The surgeon then uses these images to develop a surgical plan. It is important that patients understand their actual results may differ, but it is a close approximation.

Patients should have realistic expectations of what is possible. You should not go into surgery expecting to come out looking completely different. In addition, recovery takes time. You may not see the full effects immediately. You need to give your body time to recover and heal. Some types of cosmetic surgery are simple outpatient procedures that allow the patient to return to regular activities right away. Others will require days or even weeks for full recovery. It is important that patients follow their doctors’ instructions.

No two people will have the exact same results, and a highly-skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon can help them to enhance their appearance while still looking like themselves. Before undergoing plastic surgery, Dr. Chris Moss recommends sitting down and having an open, honest conversation with the surgeon in order to facilitate the best results.

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