Cosmetic Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Procedures: What You Need to Know

Cosmetic Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Procedures: What You Need to Know

Cosmetic surgery is increasingly visible in popular culture. It has become destigmatized over time and is even normalized to an extent. No longer is it relegated to the halls of the rich and famous, who, at one point, were the only people able to afford such a luxury.

People seek out cosmetic enhancements in makeup, skincare, and hair care. It is only natural that they turn their eyes to more permanent and, perhaps, even more, cost-effective solutions in surgery and injections.

In 2018, there were 17.7 million cosmetic procedures conducted. Of those total procedures, the vast majority were minimally invasive, such as injections or fillers. Only 1.8 million of those 17.7 million procedures were surgical in nature.

Breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgery performed in 2018. Meanwhile, Botulinum toxin type A (aka botox) was by far the most popular cosmetic procedure across the board, with a staggering 7.8 million performed. 

If you are considering cosmetic enhancements in either surgical or a minimally form, you should know the nuanced differences between the two to decide which is best suited to your needs. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge.

It’s Not Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery have been conflated in the public consciousness, but they are two very different things. The main difference between them can be found in their intended purposes.

Plastic surgery refers to the reconstruction of certain features as a result of medical conditions. It corrects deformations or dysfunctions in the performance of the human body incurred as a result of trauma or illness.

On the other hand, cosmetic procedures are undertaken with the solitary goal of enhancing the appearance of a patient. The sole aim of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic fillers or injections is to alter the aesthetic of a body part too, ideally, improve the recipient’s self-confidence. For more information, you can visit

What Fillers and Injections Can Do

There are a wide variety of different fillers and injections available. The most popular of these treatments aim to resolve aesthetic issues surrounding the skin. Take botox, for example, Botox is an injectable used to give the recipient “tighter” skin. It will resolve sagging or wrinkles that come with natural aging processes of the skin, such crow’s feet.

Fillers, on the other hand, are aimed at doing just what their name suggests: filling! Fillers like dermal fillers can give volume to parts of your face that are lacking, such as a weak chin or too-hollow cheeks. They can also “fill” wrinkle lines to give your face an overall smoother appearance.

While fillers and injections are literally called “minimally invasive” procedures, that does not mean they are without an element of risk. Like any cosmetic procedure, in rare cases, things can and do go wrong. Some negative side effects are benign, like fillers altering the shape of lips overtime in an unnatural way. Others are more serious, like the blindness reported as an incredibly rare side effect of fillers injected around the nose area.

What Cosmetic Surgery Can Do

Whereas fillers and injections can, sometimes only temporarily, alter the appearance of fine lines and the shape of your face, cosmetic surgery is near limitless. It has the potential to completely alter the aesthetic of any part of your body.

A lot of cosmetic surgical procedures aim to “lift” areas of the body to give the appearance of more youthful, elastic skin. There are lifts for the various parts of your face, such as eyelids and brows (as well as your face at large). Then there are lifts that span the entirety of your bodies, such as butt and breast lifts. 

There is also the option to “fill” in areas you find lacking with more permanent fillers. The most notorious of these is a breast augmentation, but there are also lesser-known procedures such as chin implants to consider that require surgery to perform (as opposed to a minimally invasive injection). Other plastic surgery procedures include “tummy tucks” and liposuction, which both aim to reduce the appearance of fat and excess skin. 

There are also reconstructive procedures that are performed for reasons other than simple aesthetics, like labioplasty. Labioplasty might be performed on a woman who finds that her protruding labia is uncomfortable in certain situations. While this is obviously more than aesthetic in nature, it does not rise to the level of plastic surgery, so it is still considered cosmetic. Breast reduction also falls beneath the umbrella of plastic surgery, though many women seek the procedure out to maximize their own comfort and well-being.

Which is Right for You?

Whether you seek out cosmetic surgery or a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, take care that the performing physician is reputable and licensed. Never buy any self-administered procedures that claim to give you surgical results. Talk to your physician to see if fillers or minimally invasive procedures can provide you with the results you seek before seeking out surgery.

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