Tissue expansion is a surgical technique that allows the body to expand skin over time so that that tissue can be removed and used elsewhere on the body. Tissue expansion is an option used in plastic surgery for hair transplantation and breast reconstruction.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes in incision in the donor site area. The skin is separated from the underlying muscle and tissue forming a pocket. A small silicone implant is inserted into the pocket and the incision is closed. Immediately after the surgery or a short time later, a saline solution is flowed into the implant. Over the period of a few months, more of the saline solution is added to the implant allowing the body time for the surrounding skin and tissue to naturally expand and accommodate the growth in size. Once the desired amount of skin has grown, either a permanent implant is inserted, as for breast reconstruction, or the new skin can be removed and moved to a new area.
Injections are most frequently used for cosmetic procedures to help rejuvenate skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They are also used for lip augmentation. In an office procedure, a filler is inserted into the treated area using a fine needle. In the case of fat injections, a needle is used first to remove fat from a donor site. The fat is then treated before it is inserted into the desired site, such as the lips. Generally, injection procedures do not require any anesthetic. Although the filler may cause side effects (such as an allergic reaction), the injections themselves do not.
Endoscopic procedures have revolutionized medical surgery during the past four decades. Endoscopic surgery reduces the invasiveness and more extensive scarring that occurs from traditional surgery. In these cases, small incisions are made to the area being treated and a small, tube-like device, called an endoscope, is inserted. Endoscopes often contain cameras so that the surgeon can see inside the body. They can also be fitted with cutting and vacuum-suction capabilities to cut and remove tissue. Endoscopes also allow surgeons to manipulate soft tissue, muscle, fat and skin. In plastic surgery, endoscopic procedures may be used for procedures such as forehead or brow lifts.
Light or heat emitted by lasers can produce certain reactions in the human body that can help resolve some problems. In the fields of cosmetic and plastic surgery, laser surgery offers options for rejuvenating the skin and treating spider and varicose veins.
Different forms of lasers are used in these procedures because of their different properties and results. For example, light or dark skin may suggest a different type of laser for use in dermabrasion. It is important to talk to your doctor and be sure to understand these properties to make sure the treatment is the best option for you.
A graft occurs when a surgeon removes some skin, tissue, muscle and/or fat (with or without veins or arteries supplying blood to this material) and surgically attaches it to another part of the body. Skin grafts are used for plastic surgery techniques ranging from breast reconstruction to hair transplantation. Fat grafts are used in plastic surgery for body contouring, such as in cheeks or lips.