Cosmetic Plastic Surgery: What It is & Its Types

By Dr. Bharat Rajivkumar Saxena in Centre for Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery

Apr 24 , 2023 | 7 min read

In the last three to four decades, plastic surgery has become a popular term but it is often misunderstood and misjudged. The availability of plastic surgery and the number of people undergoing it have increased very much. Celebrities and influential people undergoing these procedures have added to its popularity but have also led to a lot of speculation about what exactly ‘plastic surgery’ means.

Plastic Surgery:

The term plastic surgery is derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ which means ‘to mould’. Cosmetic and plastic surgeons perform this procedure by restoring the function and form (appearance) of various human body parts. Plastic surgery can be of two kinds - reconstructive and aesthetic or cosmetic surgery.

Reconstructive surgery is done to restore the function lost due to an accident, burns, cancer, or birth defects whereas Aesthetic or cosmetic surgery is done to improve or change the appearance of a person. Plastic surgery is one field that includes a wide range of procedures done on all parts of the body, right from the hair to our feet.

Also Read About the Benefits of Plastic Surgery

Reconstructive Surgery:

Reconstructive surgery refers to surgery done on any part of the body to restore normal function, be it the face, nose, hands, or any other part. Some patients are born with deformities like cleft lip and palate, deformed noses, abnormal hands, etc. Others may need reconstruction post accidents, burns, cancer removal, fractures, hand & foot microsurgery, etc.

Removal of cancer from any part of the body is a deforming procedure and frequently needs reconstruction. Whether it is done for the face after mouth cancer or for the breast after cancer removal, Aesthetic & Reconstructive surgery does wonder to restore function and help patients in the process of recovery.

Also Read About what is microsurgery

Aesthetic Surgery:

It is also called cosmetic surgery. Aesthetic surgery includes procedures that reshape and enhance areas of the body thus improving appearance and body image. Patients who have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about the appearance they wish to alter can be considered for aesthetic surgery.

It is important to be well-informed and aware of the expected benefits and possible risks when choosing to undergo any aesthetic procedure. Aesthetic surgery should be a personal choice and not done for pleasing others.

 Aesthetic surgery can be done for any area of the body but the most commonly done procedures are:

  • Breast augmentation or reduction
  • Tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty to reduce the size of the tummy
  • Rhinoplasty to alter the shape of the nose
  • Liposuction
  • Eyelid surgery


Considering different conditions, there are various types of cosmetic surgeries. Let us look at them in detail.

Breast Augmentation

  • Breast augmentation is a procedure that helps change the shape of breasts or increase their size.
  • The procedure is known as breast implant surgery. Breast implants that come in silicone gel-filled or saline-filled are inserted into the breasts to enlarge them.
  • Breast augmentation is generally performed on women with naturally small breasts or who have lost a significant amount of weight.



  • Dermabrasion is a procedure to improve the appearance of the skin by removing damaged or dead skin cells.
  • Since this procedure removes old skin cells and surface scars, it can improve overall skin texture and clarity.
  • Dermabrasion can treat deep wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, and scars.



  • This surgery involves lifting facial tissues, removing excess skin, and replacing skin.
  • The procedure removes wrinkles and can lift sagging facial features and even correct birth defects.
  • Facelifts come in many different forms, but the ultimate idea is to change the appearance of the face by removing damaged skin, tightening underlying tissue, and increasing blood flow to the area.


Hair Transplantation

  • Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure in which portions of hair-bearing scalp are removed from an area that has more hair and moved to areas that may be bald.
  • Hair transplantation is most often done to treat male pattern baldness. It can also be done for any other form of baldness or even bald spots caused by injury or trauma.



  • Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure in which the shape of the nose is changed or corrected.
  • It can be performed for several reasons but is often used to correct birth defects or injuries that have left the nose deformed.
  • Some people also opt for rhinoplasty for medical reasons, such as breathing problems. While others do it for aesthetics or cosmetic reasons.


Lip Augmentation

  • Lip augmentation is a type of cosmetic surgery that helps change the lips' shape.
  • This procedure is usually opted for fuller-looking lips, enlarging the lips, or correcting any existing problems.
  • Lip augmentation can also be used to bring back lips that have been lost due to frostbite or trauma.



  • Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which fat cells are removed from specific body areas through small incisions.
  • The body parts most commonly reduced with this procedure include the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
  • Most people opt for liposuction to remove excess fat and lose skin after losing weight or for cosmetic purposes.


Tummy Tuck

  • A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which the abdomen is tightened, and excess skin is removed.
  • Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck, helps with sagging and loose skin around the abdomen but doesn't help remove stretch marks.
  • A tummy tuck is generally opted to improve one's body shape.


The list is of course, endless. Many hospitals offer world-class Cosmetic Surgery in Mumbai with desired results. There are also non-surgical procedures like Fillers and Botox which help eliminate signs of ageing. Eyelid and face surgery takes years off the face, giving a rejuvenated look.

A popular procedure done by women is ‘Mommy Makeover’ which includes breast and tummy tightening to remove saggy skin. Unlike popular misconception, men opt for aesthetic surgery very often too. It may be for excess fat removal, tummy tightening, male breast correction, facelift, and eyelid surgery.

Patients, who have lost a lot of weight, especially after pregnancies or bariatric surgery, are good candidates for aesthetic surgery to remove excess skin and fat.

Over the last few decades, Aesthetic surgery has been brought to the common man (and woman) by celebrities talking about their personal experiences. Overall advances in the fields of technology, medical research, and medical training, aesthetic surgery have become safer and more easily accessible than ever before.

When considering aesthetic surgery for yourself, it is important to consult a certified and well-trained plastic surgeon and choose a reputed institute offering comprehensive Cosmetic and Plastic surgery in Mumbai. A detailed consultation and an honest discussion are the stepping stones to a happy outcome. Come prepared for your first consultation with your queries and we will answer them for you!

Nanavati Max Hospital is a premier tertiary care institute with state-of-the-art operation theatres and recovery rooms. Our team will be with you every step of the way as you embark on this new journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many types of plastic surgeries are there?

The different types of plastic surgeries include breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and many others. Most plastic surgery procedures are elective and not medically necessary, so it's important to consult a surgeon.

Q. What type of plastic surgery is most common?

The most common plastic surgery procedures include liposuction, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, and facelift. All these procedures are the most sought-after by patients because they can change their physique dramatically. Sometimes a combination of these procedures will be performed by a surgeon depending on the patient's requirements.

Q. Who needs plastic surgery? 

Plastic surgery is best for individuals who desire to improve their appearance. Many different types of plastic surgery procedures can vastly affect one’s appearance, ranging from minimal changes to increased size.

Q. What is another name for plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery is also referred to as cosmetic surgery because it helps improve a person's aesthetic features. These surgical procedures have been in practice for a long time. It is a very sophisticated procedure; therefore, it is important to approach an experienced surgeon only.

Q. What is full-body plastic surgery called?

Full-body plastic surgery is called a full-body lift. It is a cosmetic procedure involving removing and revising skin, muscles, fat, and hair. This procedure is performed to give the best shape to a person.

Q. Which is the most complicated plastic surgery?

Rhinoplasty is considered the most complicated plastic surgery. It is a surgical procedure to change the prominent features of the nose. Considering the nose is a delicate and sensitive body part, this type of surgery is a complicated one.

Reviewed by

Dr. Devayani Barve-Venkat (Consultant - Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery)

Dr. Devayani Barve-Venkat is trained in Aesthetic surgery in the USA for three years and has been awarded the prestigious International Fellowship of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). She specializes in face-neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, Rhinoplasty, Aesthetic breast surgery, Abdominoplasty, Liposuction, and Post-bariatric surgery - Body contouring among others.