20 Most Common Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

20. Botox Injections

Botox is the brand name for the Botulinum toxin, which is produced by Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria which causes botulism, a fatal disease. That doesn’t seem a promising basis for a cosmetic surgery procedure, but the toxin has a side effect people want. It relaxes the muscle and tissues around where it’s injected.


This procedure reduces wrinkles, as it’s widely used to paralyze the forehead’s muscles. This smooths out frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes, including crow’s feet. Those are the wrinkles at the corners of the eyes that are so common in older people.

It can take up to two weeks to see full results, and the injections are not permanent.

19. Liposuction

This is also called “fat modeling” and “suction-assisted fat removal,” both of which sum this procedure up well. Everybody who’s ever been overweight knows the feeling, especially if they’ve struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise, of grabbing folds of flab and wishing they could just cut it off.

Doctors who perform liposuction are more sophisticated. They consider how much fat to remove, from what part of the body, how to cause the least stress to surrounding tissue and to cause the least pain for the patient.

It’s not effective at removing cellulite, and can itself leave behind lumpiness or dents in the skin. Because there are limits to how much fat can be safely removed, liposuction is not effective at eliminating severe obesity.

18. Cheek Implants

One thing we notice about children, especially babies. They have such chubby cheeks. It’s a sign of youth, because as people age their skin seems to fall inward instead of having a full-bodied appearance. Strong cheekbones can really make a face stand out in the crowd. They are the balance point in our faces, so when they start to shrink and weaken, the underlying muscle and tissue slides into folds and jowls.

Modern cheek implants are made from silicone or porous polyethylene, and can be modeled to match your facial structure by a computer. They are inserted under the cheekbone, and they are permanent, though they can be removed if necessary.

Having the implants automatically pulls the rest of your face up, changing your entire appearance to a more youthful look.

17. Thigh Lift

This surgical procedure cuts excess skin away from your thighs to make them thinner, tighter and sleeker, more contoured and in proportion to the rest of your body. It’s often done in conjunction with liposuction to remove excess fat. As people grow older, thighs grow wider, and exercise and diet don’t seem to help. At most, maybe, they slow down or stop the weight gain.

Many times this procedure is done after weight loss leaves thigh skin loose and droopy. Skin becomes less elastic as you age.

Sometimes it’s best to do the liposuction first, and recover from that procedure before the surgeon can properly determine how much skin to remove from the inner and outer thighs. It can also help with thigh cellulite.

16. Buttock Augmentation

This is a cosmetic procedure growing in popularity thanks to many famous women having naturally large rear ends, making it fashionable. The surgical procedures include implants, fat transfer and the Brazilian Butt Lift treatment. Implants do make the rear permanently larger, but do come with the risk of infection, seromas and malpositioning.

Fat transfers are less invasive, and the liposuction contours the gluteal region, but the results are not as predictable or stable. Some surgeons use a combination of implants and fat grafting. The fat used comes from your own body. The end result of the surgery is a rear that is fuller, larger and rounder, so your buttocks are more in proportion to the rest of your body.

15. Upper Arm Lift

Many people, especially women, have sagging skin and flab drooping from their upper arms. This is caused by fluctuations in weight, age and heredity. Exercise can not remove it. If you have these bat wings, this procedure can get rid of them for you.

The surgeon removes the excess skin. Often, it’s done in conjunction with liposuction to remove excess fat in the upper arms and achieve the desired final shape. This surgery does leave a scar, a straight line from the armpit to the elbow along the inside of your arm.

It’s not prominent, but can be seen when you wear short sleeves or tank tops.

14. Chin Augmentation

People with weak or receding chins are often viewed as weak. That’s not fair, but that’s a popular prejudice. And men with strong chins seem more handsome than those without. Therefore, cosmetic surgeons can make your chin longer or bigger, using the nose as a reference point.

In this procedure, the surgeon cuts open the front of the chin, then inserts an implant. This could be bone, fat tissue, silicone, Teflon, Dacron or a newer biological material.

The surgeon attaches the implant to the chin’s bone with screws or sutures. They may also have to move some bones in the lower part of your face, such as your jaw bone.

13. Lip Augmentation

Just as larger breasts are often seen as more attractive, so are lips. Or larger lips are thought of as more sensual than thinner lips, based on kissing experience. Whether that’s true or not, many people, especially women, receive this surgery every year. The surgeon hollows out a portion of your lips, then inserts implants or some other material, making them thicker and fuller in size. The swelling goes down in around two to three weeks.

Surgeons used to use collagen and fat. These days, however, the most commonly used fillers are similar to hyaluronic acid. That gel shapes the tissues of the lips. The effect lasts around six months.

12. Neck Lift

One quite prominent sign of aging is when skin on the sides of your neck and your throat are drooping. That is, when somebody has wattles that make them look like a turkey. Cosmetic surgeons can reduce this symptom a lot through a combination of techniques. They use surgery to remove excess skin and remove or alter neck muscles. Liposuction removes excess fat.

Your platysma muscles have become thick because of age, resulting in the appearance of prominent stripes or bands. Botox can be used to relax those muscles, removing the bands. A neck lift requires general anesthesia, and takes several hours to perform. A neck lift can be done in conjunction with a face lift.

11. Hair Transplantation

This is the one kind of cosmetic surgery that is far more common with men than women. They get 83 percent of hair transplants. The procedures removes hair follicles from one part of the body where hair is still growing. That’s the donor site. And the usual donor site is the back or sides of the head. The surgeon implants the follicles to where it’s desired, usually the top of the head. That’s the recipient site.

Modern techniques harvest the groups of from one to four hairs growing together, plugs, then transplant them together. This helps keep the final result looking more natural. It can takes a series of sessions over the course of 18 months.

10. IPL Laser Treatment

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, which is beamed onto your skin by a flashgun. The resulting light can actually target particular parts of your hair.

It is used to remove unwanted hair, to lighten birth marks and to make melatonin, which makes skin darker, not as visible. This helps reduce the appearance of age or liver spots, which result from sun damage. It also eliminates enlarged blood vessels. The overall effect therefore is to even out the skin tones.

IPL treatments also return small amounts of collagen back to the skin. This is the structure which holds skin up, so that helps firm and tighten skin.

9. Forehead Lift

Also known as a brow lift, this procedure reduces the horizontal forehead wrinkles and those wrinkles on bridge of your nose, between the eyes. It reduces your frown lines, which are the vertical wrinkles between your eyebrows.

The procedure also raises your eyebrows, making you look more youthful and alert. It raises your brow so they’re not shading your eyes like the Incredible Hulk.

The surgeon puts small incisions in the hairline, so it raises the upper portion of your face. This helps fight the effects of gravity and aging so you look younger and more relaxed. That’s because forehead and frown lines make people look serious, mean and grumpy.

8. Dermabrasion

With dermabrasion, cosmetic surgeons use a diamond wheel, sterilized sandpaper, salt crystals or a wire brush. They smooth out facial wrinkles by planing away the upper to middle layers of your skin or epidermis. It is not the same thing as microdermabrasion which removes only the outer, dead layer of the skin. Dermabrasion does wound the skin, causing bleeding, though the surgical level is carefully controlled.

It may be performed at the same time as a face lift. However, it can make your face look smoother and younger. And you may be able to get the results you wish from a skin peel or using a laser.

7. Breast Lift

A woman may feel just fine about the size of her breasts, but, whatever size that is, there’s one force she cannot escape, because nobody can, and that’s gravity. That is continually tugging at the breasts of every women. Therefore, this procedure is growing in popularity. The number of breast lifts done is growing faster than breast implants.

A breast lift removes excess skin and suspensory ligaments. It tightens the adipose and glandular tissue to raise the breasts, giving them a more youthful look and shape. Areolas also change shape as breasts sag over time, and the surgery reduces their size. The woman’s breasts are no larger, but they are higher and more youthful looking.

6. Face-Lift

Despite the name, no part of the patient’s face is actually raised. However, excess fat and skin is removed to make their face look tauter and smoother, younger. It helps smooth out wrinkles. The surgeon might tighten the tissues underlying the skin. The skin is redraped over the patient’s face and neck. The cosmetic surgeon seeks to change the appearance of three primary areas: any jowls, the drooping of fat in the cheeks and drooping skin below the eyes.

With modern face-lifts the surgeons goes to a deep plane instead of simply pulling on the skin. They work to restore the volume of the subcutaneous tissue lost because of aging.

5. Tummy Tuck

Everybody wants a six-pack of abs, but losing weight and building muscles not as easy as the models in late-night infomercials make it look. When diet and exercise doesn’t make abdominal flab go away, many people head for the cosmetic surgeon. Surgery removes extra fat and the skin from the lower and middle abdomen, and tightened stomach muscles.

Some tummy tuck patients were once obese, but lose so much weight they still have a lot of skin over their bellies. Women who have been pregnant are also good candidates. Depending on the extent of the fat and skin to be removed, this surgery can take from one to five hours.

4. Lower Body Lift

Perhaps you want it all, or think you it all, the works. You may be a good candidate for a lower body lift. That transforms your abdomen, buttocks, hips and outer thighs. It removes excess skin and fat from all parts of your body’s midsection. It’s also called a body lift or belt lipectomy.

The surgeon makes an incision around your lower body in circumferential fashion. Your excess skin and fat are removed. Your stomach muscles are tightened. This procedure is especially good for patients who have had a lot of weight loss, but the old skin is not tightening up.

Because this procedure involves so much of your body, it may require hospitalization, and a lengthy recovery period.

3. Eyelid Surgery

Breast augmentation and nose shaping surgeries are mainly for younger women to change the physical appearance they were born with. Eyelid surgery, however, is for older people. As people age, the collagen supporting skin structure weakens and grows thin. This is especially true in the face.

Sagging eyelids are one of the most common signs of age. By removing extra skin, muscle and fat from the area above the eye, the cosmetic surgeon tightens up the eyelids so they no droop. This is often done in conjunction with a face lift, forehead lift or with additional work to correct baggy under-eyes. Because you continue to age, this surgery lasts around five to seven years.

2. Nose Shaping

The fancy name is rhinoplasty. Compared to breast size and shape, noses don’t seem so seriously, but over two hundred thousand Americans per year take their noses seriously enough go under the knife to have them sculpted into a new shape with a nose job.

And this surgery too can greatly improve the self-esteem and self-confidence of the patient, who is obviously self-conscious about the size and shape of their noses. Perhaps they worry they are being judged as not beautiful or handsome because their nose is too wide or too large or has a bump or irregular shape or is crooked or out of alignment with the face.

1. Breast Augmentation

Although this type of surgery is the the subject of lots of “boob job” jokes, most women have it because they suffer psychological distress and self-esteem issues over their body size. Most of them have endured years of teasing over the size of their breasts. Many have undergone psychotherapy for depression and perceiving defects in their bodies that don’t exist.

After this surgery, women report increased physical health and self-esteem. They have better social lives and exhibit greater self-confidence.

Whether done by breast-implant or fat-graft mammoplasty, the surgery increases the size of the patient’s breasts and alters their shape. Implants may be filled with either a saline solution or silicon-gel. The fat-graft in particular helps reshape the contours of breasts.