Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

Cosmetic surgery is elective surgery performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem. Some cosmetic procedures also fulfill medical needs. It is important to understand that the circumstances and experience of every individual who chooses cosmetic surgery are unique to their situation.

When selecting a plastic surgeon, it is important to make sure he or she has the experience, training and credibility you desire in a doctor entrusted with your care. If you are considering cosmetic surgery, your plastic surgeon can help you determine the treatment plan that is best for you. The plastic surgeons at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee will meet with you to determine a plan that will meet your needs and address your concerns regarding surgical and non-surgical options.

Please note that all surgery carries some uncertainty and risk including the possibility of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon and closely following his or her advice, both before and after surgery.

Contact us today at 414-805-1000 for an individualized consultation

Average Cosmetic Surgery Pricing

Learn more about the average cost of cosmetic procedures. Please note that prices may vary and do not include the anesthesia or facility (hospital or surgery center) fees.


 ABDOMINOPLASTY (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty flattens the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and may take 2-5 hours. You may remain hospitalized overnight depending on individual circumstances and the extent of the surgery. Side effects may include temporary pain, swelling, soreness, numbness of the abdominal skin, bruising, and fatigue for several weeks or months. Risks include blood clots, infection, bleeding under the skin flap, poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss, and need for a second operation. Most patients are able to return to work in 2 to 4 weeks, and return to more strenuous activity in 4 to 6 weeks or more. It can take up to a year for the scars to fade and flatten. Learn more about abdominoplasty or tummy tucks.

 BRACHIOPLASTY (Arm Lift)

Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure which tightens the loose skin in the upper arm and removes excess fat deposits that may develop with aging or after major weight loss. Liposuction may also be done to improve the appearance of the upper arm. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and generally takes 2-4 hours. Most patients are able to return to work in 2 to 4 weeks, and return to more strenuous activity in 4 to 6 weeks or more. It can take up to a year for the scars to fade and flatten. Learn more about brachioplasty or arm lifts.

 BREAST AUGMENTATION

Breast augmentation enhances the size and shape of the breasts using either saline or silicone implants. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis and takes 2 to 3 hours. Side effects may include temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, and bruising. Risks may include infection, asymmetry, or an increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, which is occasionally permanent. Patients may return to work in 1-2 weeks. Tightening and hardening of scar tissue around the implant ("capsular contracture"), or rupture of the implant may occur; either may require surgery to release the scar tissue or to remove or replace the implant. Breast implants are not lifetime devices and may require removal or replacement. Learn more about breast augmentation.

 BREAST LIFT (Mastopexy)

A breast lift or mastopexy raises and reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning the remaining tissue and nipples. The procedure usually takes 2 to 3 hours and can be done under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, normally on an outpatient basis. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, discomfort, and numbness. The procedure leaves permanent scars although these are minimized and will fade in several months to a year. Risks include thick, wide scars, skin loss, infection, asymmetry, and permanent loss of feeling in the nipples or breasts. Patients are usually feeling better and back to work in 1 to 2 weeks, but must refrain from more strenuous activities for at least 1 month. The duration of the results of this procedure are variable, as gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight changes may cause new sagging. Results may last longer when combined with implants. Learn more about breast lifts or mastopexy.

 BROW LIFT (ENDOSCOPIC or OPEN)

A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. It minimizes forehead creases, drooping eyebrows, hooding over the eyes, a furrowed forehead, and frown lines by removing excess tissue and redraping the skin. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia (or local anesthetic with sedation) on an outpatient basis and takes 1 to 2 hours. Side effects can include temporary swelling, numbness, headaches, and bruising. It is possible to have a change in the hairline or a partial hair loss for several months. Risks can include infection, excessive scarring, or injury to the facial nerve causing loss of motion, muscle weakness, or an asymmetrical look. Patients can typically return to work in 7 to 10 days, but must refrain from strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks. Learn more about endoscopic or brow lifts.

 COLLAGEN/FAT INJECTIONS

Collagen or fat injections are used to plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin and/or add fullness to the lips and backs of hands. The procedure works best on thin, dry, light-colored skin and lasts 15 minutes to more than 1 hour per session depending upon the number of areas treated. Local anesthesia is used for both of these outpatient procedures. Side effects include a temporary stinging, throbbing, or burning sensation, faint redness, swelling, and excess fullness. The risks for collagen include allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling, or flu-like symptoms and possible triggering of connective-tissue or autoimmune diseases. Risks for both procedures include contour irregularities and infection. The duration of results is variable, lasting a few months to 1 year.

 DERMABRASION

Dermabrasion is the mechanical scraping of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary wheel. This softens the sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth. Dermabrasion is typically an outpatient procedure lasting a few minutes to 1.5 hours. More than one session may be required. Anesthesia may be local, numbing spray, or general. Side effects include temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, or redness, lightening of treated skin, acute sensitivity to sun and/or loss of ability to make pigment (tan). Risks include abnormal color changes (permanent) and/or tiny whiteheads (temporary), infection, scarring, flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, and/or cold sores. Patients are usually back to work in 2 weeks and can perform more strenuous activities in 4 to 6 weeks. It takes about 3 months for redness to fade and 6 to 12 months for the return of pigmentation. It is necessary to refrain from any UV exposure for 6 to 12 months following this procedure. The duration of results is permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages. Learn more about dermabrasion.

 EAR SURGERY (OTOPLASTY)
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, is done to set prominent ears back closer to the head or to reduce the size of large ears. This procedure is typically performed on children between the ages of four and 14. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks associated with ear surgery on an older patient. The surgery can be performed outpatient, under local or general anesthesia, and takes 1-2 hours. Patients may generally return to work or school in 7-10 days, but must refrain from strenuous activity for 4 weeks. Risks may include bleeding, infection, unfavorable scarring, and/or asymmetry. Learn more about ear surgery or otoplasty.
 EYELID SURGERY (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid Surgery or a blepharoplasty is a procedure that corrects saggy skin and puffy bags around the eyes by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle from the upper and/or lower eyelids. This outpatient procedure takes approximately 1 hour and is usually performed under local anesthesia with sedation; sometimes general anesthesia. Side effects include temporary discomfort, tightness of lids, swelling, bruising, temporary dryness, burning, or itching of the eyes, excessive tearing and/or sensitivity to light for the first few weeks. Risks include temporary blurred or double vision, infection, swelling at the corners of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads, slight asymmetry in healing or scarring, difficulty in closing the eyes completely (rarely permanent, but may require further surgery), and blindness (extremely rare). Patients are normally back to reading in 2 to 3 days and back to work in 7 to 10 days. Contact lenses can usually be worn after 2 weeks and patients can return to strenuous activities in about 3-4 weeks. Eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if it is necessary to improve a patient’s vision. A field of vision examination by an ophthalmologist is required in these cases. Learn more about eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty.

 FACELIFT (Rhytidectomy)

Facelifts or rhytidectomy are performed to improve sagging facial skin, jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, and redraping skin. There are most often done on men and women over age 40. The procedure takes 2 to 3 hours and is usually outpatient, although some patients may require a short inpatient stay. Anesthesia is general or occasionally local with sedation. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, tenderness, and/or tight-feeling, dry skin. For men, there may be a permanent need to shave behind the ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned. Risks include injury to the nerves that control facial muscles and sensation, infection, poor healing, excessive scarring, and/or asymmetry or change in hairline. Most patients are back to work in 2 to 3 weeks and more strenuous activity after 3 weeks or more. Bruising may take 2 to 3 weeks to subside. Sun exposure must be limited for several months. Results typically last 5 to 10 years. Learn more about facelifts or rhytidectomy

 FACIAL IMPLANTS (Cheek, chin, jaw or lip implants)
Facial implants can change the basic shape and balance of the face using carefully styled implants to build up a receding chin, add prominence to cheekbones, reshape the jawline, or augment lips. Implants may be made of natural or artificial materials. Facial implants are permanent and normally inserted during an outpatient surgical procedure. The surgery normally takes 1 to 2 hours and is performed under general anesthesia or local with sedation. Side effects include temporary discomfort, swelling, bruising, numbness and/or stiffness. With jaw surgery, patients may be unable to open their mouth fully for several weeks. Risks include shifting or imprecise positioning of implant, or infection around it, requiring a second operation or removal. Also, hardening of the scar tissue around an artificial implant- called capsular contracture- is possible. Patients are typically back to work in about 1 week and return to a normal appearance in 2 to 4 weeks. Activity that could harm or bump the face should be restricted for 6 weeks or more. Learn more about facial implants.
 HAIR REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Hair replacement surgery is done to fill in balding areas with a patient's own hair. There are a variety of techniques, including scalp reduction, tissue expansion, strip grafts, scalp flaps, or clusters of punch grafts (plugs, mini-plugs, and micro-plugs). Surgery generally takes approximately 1 to 3 hours, and some techniques may require multiple procedures over 18 months or more. The procedures are usually outpatient with local anesthesia with sedation. Flaps and tissue expansion may be done with general anesthesia. Side effects include a temporary achy, tight scalp, and there may be an unnatural look in the early stages. Risks include an unnatural look, infection, excessive scarring, failure to "take", and loss of scalp tissue and/or transplanted hair. Most patients are able to return to work in 2 to 5 days and to more strenuous activities in 10 days to 3 weeks. The results are permanent; however, it may take 18 months or more to achieve the final desired look, depending on the procedure. Learn more about hair replacement surgery.

 LIPOSUCTION (Suction-Assisted Lipectomy)

Liposuction improves body shape using a vacuum device to remove unwanted fat deposits that don't respond to diet and exercise. Locations include: chin, cheeks, neck, upper arms, above breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles. Liposuction is normally an outpatient procedure lasting 1 to 2 hours or more, depending on the extent of the surgery. Extensive procedures may require a short inpatient stay. Anesthesia may be local, epidural or general depending upon the site and duration. Side effects include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, and/or a burning sensation. Risks may include infection, fluid accumulations, injury to the skin, rippling or bagginess of skin, asymmetry, pigmentation changes (may become permanent if exposed to sun), and/or excessive fluid loss leading to shock. Patients are typically back to work in 1 to 2 weeks and back to more strenuous activity in 2 to 4 weeks. Swelling and bruising may last 1 to 6 months or more. Results are permanent as long as a sensible diet and exercise regimen is maintained. Learn more about liposuction or suction-assisted lipectomy.

 LOWER BODY LIFT (abdominoplasty, buttock lift, thigh lift)

A lower body lift is a procedure which combines an abdominoplasty, buttock lift and thigh lift to remove excess fat and skin caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. During the procedure, a circumferential incision around the abdomen is used to remove excess skin and fat and to redrape and tighten the remaining tissue. You may remain hospitalized overnight depending on individual circumstances and the extent of the surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes 5-6 hours. Side effects may include temporary pain, swelling, soreness, bruising, and fatigue for several weeks or months. Risks include blood clots, infection, bleeding under the skin flap, poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss, and need for a second operation. The recovery time is 6-8 weeks, and can be up to 4-6 months for a return to strenuous exercise.

 MACS or SHORT SCAR FACELIFT

The Minimal Access Cranial Suspension (MACS) lift is an innovative facelift procedure. In the MACS lift, the surgeon lifts the middle layer of facial tissue in a vertical direction, almost eliminating the horizontal “windswept” look that can be a telltale sign a patient has had a facelift. And unlike the conventional face lift, the MACS-lift requires only a few incisions and results in fewer scars. The MACS lift is not only less invasive, but also requires less patient downtime. Recovery is essentially limited to 2-3 weeks. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes 2-3 hours. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, tenderness, and/or tight-feeling, dry skin. Risks may include injury to the nerves that control facial muscles and sensation, infection, poor healing, and/or excessive scarring.

 MALE BREAST REDUCTION (gynecomastia correction)
Male breast reductions can be performed to correct gynecomastia. The procedures can include liposuction and/or excision of excess glandular tissue to reduce enlarged, female-like breasts in men. The specific procedure is usually outpatient, lasts 1-2 hours, and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, and/or a burning sensation. Risks of surgery can include infection, fluid collections, rippling or bagginess of the skin, asymmetry, excessive scarring, and rarely, excessive fluid loss leading to shock. Patients are usually able to return to work after 1 week, but should refrain from strenuous activity for 2-3 weeks. Learn more about male breast reduction or gynecomastia correction.
 MICROLASER PEEL
The MicroLaser Peel is a procedure that uses a laser to ablate the outermost layers of the skin to treat certain skin conditions such as: wrinkles, scars, acne scars, keratoses or pigmentary problems. The laser procedure is performed in the office under topical and/or local anesthesia and the entire visit takes 1-2 hours. The MicroLaser Peel is a partial- to full epidermal peel which ablates deeper than microdermabrasion, so the healing process can take 3-10 days. It is important to maintain effective skin care, and to avoid the sun and UV rays for several months after surgery to prevent pigmentary changes. Learn more about microlaser peels.
 NECK LIFT
A neck lift is intended to correct sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp. This outpatient procedure may be performed under general anesthesia or local with sedation, and takes 1-2 hours. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, tenderness, and/or tight-feeling, dry skin. Risks may include infection, poor healing, excessive scarring, and/or asymmetry or change in hairline. Most patients are back to work in 2 to 3 weeks and more strenuous activity after 3 weeks or more. Bruising may take 2 to 3 weeks to subside. Results typically last 5-10 years. Learn more about neck lifts.
 RHINOPLASTY & SEPTOPLASTY (Nose reshaping)

Rhinoplasty reshapes the nose by reducing or increasing the size, removing humps, changing the shape of the tip or bridge, narrowing the span of the nostrils, or changing the angle between the nose and upper lip. Septoplasty may be performed to relieve some breathing problems and may be covered by insurance if performed for medical reasons. The procedure is usually a 2 to 3 hour outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia or local with sedation. Side effects include temporary swelling, bruising around the eyes and nose, headaches, slight bleeding and stuffiness. Risks may include infection, asymmetry, or the need for reoperation. Patients are typically back to work or school in 1 to 2 weeks and may perform more strenuous activities in 2 to 3 weeks. Patients need to avoid the sun, and also activities that could result in bumping the nose for at least 8 weeks. Because the nose is cartilage, the final appearance may not be realized for 1 year or more. Learn more about rhinoplasty or septoplasty.
 

 THIGH LIFT

A thigh lift is performed to correct sagging skin, either on the medial or outer thigh, or both. Reshaping of the thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that can extend downward to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh. Improving contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes 2-3 hours. Risks may include unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, and/or poor wound healing. Recovery time is 4-6 weeks for return to work, and 1-3 months for a return to strenuous activity. Learn more about thigh lifts.

Contact Us

Department of Plastic Surgery
Medical College of Wisconsin
8700 W. Watertown Plank Rd.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

(414) 805-1000 | Fax: (414) 805-8508

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 04/24/2015
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