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Summary: What does “having a little work done” really mean? It’s certainly a phrase that gets thrown around often enough, especially by individuals who want to be a little vague about which procedure they might be undergoing (this vagueness is understandable–there’s no reason plastic surgery must be intended for public consumption). “Having a little work done” might be intentionally vague, but we can still take some educated guesses as to what it might mean.

What Does “Having a Little Work Done” Really Mean?

There’s a phrase you hear in plastic surgery–and you hear it pretty often–that goes something like this: “I’m having a little work done.” But what does that mean, exactly, to having a little work done? It’s funny, because that little phrase has become a euphemism for having, well, any plastic surgery procedure performed.

If you’re a certain person, you might say you’re having a little bit of work done whether you’re undergoing a Botox injection or a mommy makeover (which involves a tummy tuck, breast lift, and liposuction).

Most commonly, however, “having a little work done” is used to refer to smaller-scale plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures. There’s no hard or fast rule about what it could mean. But it’s almost always used in the context of aesthetic procedures designed to make patients look more youthful. So, if you wanted to have a little work done yourself, what kind of procedures would you be looking at? To some extent, that’s something you’ll discuss in depth with your surgeon. But since the “a little work done” definition is so broad, we can offer some examples.

You Might Be Talking About Dermal Filler Injections

If you’re having “a little work done,” you might be talking about a wide variety of procedures. But one of the most common such options for “a little work” is a dermal filler injection. Generally speaking, filler injections are designed to mitigate or diminish lines and wrinkles–but very special lines and wrinkles.

See, some of the signs of aging are caused by a lack of volume in your skin. Your skin becomes too lax, and when that happens, wrinkles form. Dermal fillers are able to provide a solution, filling (hence the name) that space with a specially formulated injectable.

Fillers will generally last anywhere from twelve to eighteen months–that is, they aren’t permanent (in most cases). Which makes them perfect for fitting into this “little work” category. And they can even be used for more aesthetic purposes–filling lips or slightly altering the nose. In other words, dermal fillers can accomplish a lot, even though you’re only getting a “little” work done.

You Might be Talking About Liposuction

To be sure, surgical liposuction is still a surgical procedure. Which means that lipo is a bit more than a “little work.” But the incision is quite small. In fact, for most liposuction procedures, the incision involved is only a couple of centimeters long.

Of course, that’s not all that’s happening with a liposuction. During this procedure, a surgeon will insert a small tube (called a cannula) through that incision into the target area of the body. That cannula will then begin to extract unwanted fat deposits from the body while sculpting some of the fat deposits that remain.

Liposuction is an incredibly powerful procedure, but it can take a toll on the body. There may be swelling and bruising, and recovery from liposuction is usually measured in terms of weeks. So, while it certainly qualifies as “getting a little work done,” it is important to remember that liposuction is a surgical procedure with a surgical recovery period.

Maybe You Mean Botox Injections

Quite possibly the most common procedure associated with “having a little work done” is probably Botox. Famous for years now, Botox injections have consistently been the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure on the planet. Millions of people every year undergo Botox injections.

So it should come as no surprise that this injectable is often referred to as “a little work.” Botox works by targeting and paralyzing certain muscle groups in the face. It’s known as a neuromodulator.

Once the muscle is temporarily paralyzed, the skin around that muscle relaxes and the wrinkle is released. This is how Botox is able to combat smile lines, frown lines, and concentration lines. The results will typically last anywhere between four and six months, but you can always get maintenance injections if you like what you see.

How Big is Too Big for “Little?”

Honestly, you could describe just about any plastic surgery procedure as getting “a little work done.” It’s really just a way of saying that, at the end of everything, you’re still going to be you. That the procedure won’t change so much that you can’t take credit for looking great at the end of it all.

And, to a certain extent, that’s true no matter what plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure you undergo. It’ll still be you–maybe even more so.


About the Author: Nick Engebretson has been working as a marketer in the plastic and cosmetic surgery vertical for over twenty years. He’s always chatting with surgeons about the next big, trendy procedure.

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