Whether you want a subtle change that helps hide your age or a more dramatic transformation, there’s a cosmetic procedure for you. The menu at the body transformation buffet continues to expand, offering more choices to fit an array of desires.

“Cosmetic surgery can provide a patient with several options to help improve their confidence and self-esteem,” says Dr. Christian Prada of St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery. “Many patients have had changes to their body from the effects of aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations and sun damage, and are looking for a way to look closer to their younger self. Other patients may never have had the body they wanted and are looking for a change to improve their self-confidence.”

Virtually any part of the body can be cosmetically enhanced. Prada says the most common procedures in his practice include liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose jobs), eyelid lifts, breast implants and tummy tucks.

These surgical procedures vary in cost, recovery and results, but with a bit of patience, most people will see a notable post-surgical change. “Within a week or two, most patients can appreciate a dramatic improvement in the way they look,” Prada says. “There still may be swelling and bruising to the areas addressed, but this will go away within a few weeks. For almost all procedures, a few months may be required to see the ‘final’ result.”

Patients tells Prada they’re happy after surgery, yet he cites even broader evidence of satisfaction. “Studies have shown satisfaction rates ranging from 85 to 95 percent after various cosmetic surgeries.  Most respondents in these studies who were satisfied with their outcome reported greater self-confidence post-procedure.”

Surgery offers the most permanent transformations, but med spas continue to gain popularity for treatments that require less downtime, and new technology and techniques provide ongoing improvements. For instance, Synergi MedSpa now offers Venus Freeze, which uses both radio frequency and electromagnetic waves to tighten and tone the skin, while reducing cellulite and fat deposits, explains Dr. Richard Maack, medical director. The popular new treatment can be used on the face, neck and body, he says, adding that the painless procedure offers the best results after several treatments.

When plumping, rather than reducing, is the goal, "without question, injectable fillers are the single best med spa treatment to instantly and remarkably rejuvenate the face," says Dr. Mike Nayak of Nayak Plastic Surgery and Avani Day Spa. “The best results are not from filling lines or folds, but from restoring the eye, temple, cheek and jawline areas, recreating the shapes of youth in literally minutes.” Results last about a year, he adds.

No matter which procedure you opt for, Nayak emphasizes, "Make sure to have your treatment at a facility where a competent physician evaluates each and every patient prior to treatment. This helps ensure that patients, procedures and expectations are all in line to optimize results and happiness."

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