Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Plastic Surgery

  • Compare the pros and cons of having breast reconstruction.

  • Gender identity is your inner sense of being male, female, both, neither, or some other gender. For transgender people, their gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Sometimes gender identity is outside the two most common categories of male or female. People who feel this way may use...

  • Whether to wear a breast form (prosthesis) after breast surgery is a very personal decision. Some women feel better about themselves when their clothes fit just as they did before surgery. Other women feel comfortable just as they are. You can buy these forms already made, or they can be custom-made from a mold of...

  • Hear what other women thought about as they decided whether to have breast reconstruction.

  • Learn what skin graft surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a skin graft.

  • Laser resurfacing is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. It uses a laser to send out brief pulses of high-energy light. This light is absorbed by water and substances in the skin called chromophores. The light is changed into heat energy. The heat then destroys (vaporizes) thin sections of skin, layer by layer...

  • Dermabrasion is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. It uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges (called a burr or fraise) to remove the upper layers of the skin. The brush or burr spins quickly, taking off and leveling (abrading or planing) the top layers of the skin. This process injures or wounds...

  • A chemical peel is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. A chemical is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. Over the next 1 to 14 days, depending on how deep the chemical soaks into the skin, the skin peels off. This process destroys parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its...

  • Looks at surgery or procedures that change or restore your appearance. Covers Botox, dermabrasion, face-lift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), nose job (rhinoplasty), breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction, and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).

  • Discusses reasons to have or not have surgery or a procedure for varicose veins. Includes info on sclerotherapy, laser treatment, microphlebectomy, and radiofrequency closure. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Self-care, or home treatment, is recommended for most people with varicose veins. Home treatment can relieve symptoms and slow down the progress of varicose veins. For many people, home treatment is the only treatment they need. Exercise can help...

  • If you are considering a procedure or surgery for varicose veins, weigh the following before proceeding: How much do the exam and treatment cost, and how many treatments does the doctor think you will need? The cost of treatment can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on how many...

  • Discusses sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins. Includes info on spider veins. Looks at how well sclerotherapy works and what to expect after treatment. Discusses risks.

  • Vein ligation and stripping is a minor surgery. It is used to remove a damaged vein and prevent complications of vein damage. If several valves in a vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is removed (stripped). An incision is made below the vein, a flexible instrument...

  • Women who have had breast implants or surgery to remove cysts or benign (noncancerous) lumps usually are able to breastfeed. Women who have had surgery to make their breasts smaller (breast reduction) may have trouble breastfeeding if the milk ducts...

  • Options for removing tattoos Treatment to remove a tattoo is not always successful. There are many ways to try and remove tattoos, including: Laser treatment. This is the treatment of choice. Many types of lasers have been used to remove tattoos. Different lasers remove different types of ink better than...

  • Discusses breast reconstruction surgery done after mastectomy. Covers two ways of doing the surgery: pedicle flap and free flap. Looks at types of flap surgery: TRAM, latissimus dorsi, DIEP, SIEA, TUG, and gluteal free. Covers what to expect after surgery and risks.

  • Breast implants are a way to recreate the shape of a breast after part or all of the breast is removed (mastectomy) because of cancer. There are several types of implants that are available. Some of the most common implants have a soft silicone...

  • Guides through decision to have breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Describes what options are available for breast reconstruction and how it is done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Breast enlargement is surgery to make the breasts bigger and improve their shape. This surgery may also be called breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty. During breast enlargement, the surgeon places an implant in the breast. An implant is a soft silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline (salt water)...

  • Discusses breast reduction surgery to reshape and reduce breast size. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Covers what to expect after surgery. Looks at risks, such as scars and infection. Covers what to think about when having breast reduction.

  • Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits. In recent years, improved...

  • Rhinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nose. It can make the nose larger or smaller; change the angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip; alter the tip of the nose; or correct bumps, indentations, or other defects in the nose. During rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes incisions to access the bones and cartilage that...

  • A face-lift is the most extensive way to remove or reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of the face caused by age. In a traditional face-lift, the skin is literally lifted off the face so that the skin and the tissues beneath can be tightened and the skin can be repositioned smoothly over the face. For the...

  • Discusses treating varicose and spider veins with a laser. Covers simple and endovenous laser treatment. Looks at sclerotherapy. Discusses why laser treatment is done and what to expect after treatment. Covers how well it works and possible side effects.

  • Filler injections are a cosmetic treatment used to smooth wrinkles or pitted scars in the skin, usually on the face. They are also used to make the lips fuller. When injected under the skin, a filler raises or puffs up that area. This usually goes away over time. There are many kinds of injectable fillers, including...

  • Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. (Ablation means a doctor uses heat to damage tissue, which makes scar tissue form. This scar tissue closes the vein.) This technique uses radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) to heat up and damage the wall inside a vein. This...

  • Phlebectomy (also known as microphlebectomy, ambulatory phlebectomy, or stab avulsion) is a technique to remove varicose veins. In this procedure, several tiny cuts (incisions) are made in the skin through which the varicosed vein is removed. Stitches usually are not required. This procedure typically does not...

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