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The Ultimate Cosmetic Surgery Guide

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Face-lift  (lower face and neck)

Anesthesia: General or local, depending on the extent of the procedure.

Time in surgery: 3½-5 hours.

Recovery: Patients are out of bed within a few days, says Dr. Ryan Hoffman of the Main Line Institute of Plastic Surgery in Wynnewood. After a week, most sutures are removed. Bruising and swelling persist for two weeks, after which patients can leave the house with makeup. Activity is restricted for about three weeks. 

Cost: $14,000-$20,000, including anesthesia, surgical-facility fee and overnight stay.

Upper eyelids (blepharoplasty)

Anesthesia: Local, unless the patient has cardiac or other health issues that require mild sedation administered intravenously. 

Time in surgery: About an hour. 

Recovery: Vision is not affected. Patients can resume activities in a few days, says Bryn Mawr’s Dr. John J.W. Lee. Substantial swelling decreases within 14 days.

Cost: $2,000-$2,500; $1,000-$2,000 more for procedures performed at a hospital.

Lower Eyelids (blepharoplasty)

Anesthesia: Local, unless the patient has cardiac or other health issues that require mild IV sedation. 

Time in surgery: 1-2 hours.  

Recovery: Vision is not affected. Patients can resume activities in a few days. Recovery is minimal if the skin is not yet stretched, says Lee. If tightening is needed, the incision can take a long time to heal. 

Cost: $2,500-$3,500, depending on whether or not fat-pad removal and skin tightening are needed; $1,000-$2,000 more for procedures performed at a hospital.

Nose (rhinoplasty)

Anesthesia: General.

Time in surgery: 2½-3½ hours.

Recovery: Internal and external nasal splints are worn for the first week, says Hoffman. After that, light walking is allowed, but the head must be elevated. Patients can return to desk jobs in one to two weeks, although it takes a full 14 days to return to normal. 

Cost: $7,000-$9,000, including anesthesia and surgical-facility fee.

Brow Lift (endoscopic)

Anesthesia: General.

Time in surgery: 1½ hours.

Recovery: Done through five small incisions at the hairline, this procedure is typically followed by three to five days of pain managed with analgesics or narcotics, says Dr. Jason Bloom of the Main Line Center for Laser Surgery in Ardmore. During that time, the head is wrapped. Swelling and bruising are gone in about a week. 

Cost: $4,500, plus anesthesia and surgical-facility fee.

Brow Lift (coronal)

Anesthesia: General.

Time in surgery: 2 hours.

Recovery: More invasive than an endoscopic lift, the coronal procedure entails an ear-to-ear incision before and raising the hairline along with the brow. Because of the long incisions, recovery time is about two weeks. Expect pain, swelling and bruising. 

Cost: $6,000, plus anesthesia and surgical-facility fee.

Breast Lift with Implants (augmentation mastopexy)

Anesthesia: General.

Time in surgery: 3-3½ hours.

Recovery: Moderate pain for about five days, says Dr. David Singer of Surgical Specialists in Paoli and West Chester. Showering and other activities are restricted for three to five days, depending on whether or not drains are inserted. Light activity may be resumed after one week, depending on the status of the patient’s healing. After two weeks, normal activity can resume, with restrictions.

Cost: Varies depending on body type and implant.

Breast Lift (mastopexy)

Anesthesia: General.

Time in surgery: 2-2½ hours.

Recovery: Moderate pain for three to five days, controlled by analgesics like Percocet or Vicodin. No showering or lifting of arms for at least two to three days. After another week, patients can resume light activity while wearing a sports bra or other support garment. After two weeks, normal activity can be resumed, but exercise is restricted, per surgeon’s orders.

Cost: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cites the average cost at $4,207, with additional fees for anesthesia and surgical facilities. Singer says the cost varies widely, depending on the amount of breast tissue involved and the patient’s overall goals.

Liposuction (arms, thighs)

Anesthesia: Local, IV sedation or general.

Time in surgery: Varies.

Recovery: Small drains are often placed near the incisions, and compression garments or elastic bandages may be used to cover treatment areas. Post-procedure swelling could take several months to disappear.

Cost: $2,866 on average, plus anesthesia and surgical-facility fee.

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)

Anesthesia: IV sedation or general.

Time in surgery: Varies.

Recovery: Bandages are applied to incisions, and the midsection may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support the abdomen. 

Cost: $5,217 on average, plus anesthesia and surgical-facility fee.

Butt Lift (buttock augmentation with implants)

Anesthesia: IV sedation or general.

Time in surgery: Varies.

Recovery: Support garments are worn for two to three weeks to reduce swelling and help implants settle into position. Final results are seen in three months. 

Cost: $4,383 on average.

Butt Lift (buttock augmentation with fat grafting)

Anesthesia: IV sedation or general.

Time in surgery: Varies.

Recovery: For two weeks, patients must sit on pillows or cushions, sleep facedown or on their sides, and avoid sitting for extended periods. Support garments are worn for several weeks, and no exercise is permitted during that time. 

Cost: $4,515 on average.

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