Plastic Surgery for Young Women
Cosmopolitan Magazine, March 1, 2002
Even younger women are candidates for surgery today.


A twentysomething woman who gains and then loses weight can find that her chin remains a permanent reminder of her overweight self. But thanks to the resilience of youthful skin, liposuction can now speedily reshape a double chin—and also redefine a moon face, bestowing a more sculpted look without cheek implants.

To suction fat out of the chin, a tiny incision (an inch or less) is made underneath, near the bone. For an overly round face, surgeons, working through incisions in the crease under the ears, suck out tiny amounts of subcutaneous fat to recontour cheeks and jawline.

Afterward, if either procedure is done on a Thursday, most people are back at work on Monday, looking normal. Painkillers are needed for a day or two, as are small bandages, and ice compresses help minimize swelling and discoloration. Eating is no problem. "After the fat is gone, the saggy skin behaves much like a scar tissue, retracting and tightening up," says Michelle Copeland, a plastic surgeon at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. Aftercare is usually complete within six weeks.


Softening an unattractive schnoz is about the best investment cosmetic surgery has to offer. Although it is probably the most difficult of operations a plastic surgeon is called upon to perform—and therefore an experienced specialist is a must—rhinoplasty lasts a lifetime. Best results are now considered to come from a refinement, not a wholesale redo, of the existing shape. Reducing a large or humped nose is easier than trying to add to a nose with cartilage grafts or implants; a nose that looks crooked from the front is also difficult to correct.

Wearing magnifying glasses and using special lights, the surgeon usually makes an incision inside the nose itself, elevates the skin, and is able to cut and reshape cartilage and bone without leaving a scar. "We work using sight and instinct about equally," says Dr. Michelle Copeland of Mount Sinai.