Cosmetic Surgery Overview – Available Procedures

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This page offers a general overview of cosmetic surgery procedures. For more in-depth information on these procedures, it is always best to schedule a plastic surgery consultation.

Certainly every individual is unique and will have a different experience for their procedure. If you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, feel free to contact Dr. Mosser for further information about the particular procedure, so that you can explore your goals and expectations in a formal consultation.

In addition, please note that all surgery carries some uncertainty and risk, including the possibility of infection, bleeding, blood clots and adverse reactions to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon and closely following his or her advice, both before and after surgery.

Cosmetic Surgery San Francisco and Bay Area

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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

What this procedure is: Flatten abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles of abdominal wall.
Duration of procedure: 2 to 4 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Usually general.
In/Outpatient: Either depending on individual circumstances and extent of surgery.
Side effects: Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks.
General risks of procedure: Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 2 to 4 weeks. More strenuous activity: 4 to 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Body Contouring Options: Your Body Might be Speaking for Itself
View Frequently Asked Questions about Tummy Tuck Surgery

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Arm Lift

What this procedure is: Removal of excess, sagging, skin in upper arms.
Duration of procedure: 2 hours
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Scarring, which is variable depending on how aggressive the procedure needs to be
General risks of procedure: Possibility of wide, visible scars, small possibility of loss of sensation to a part of the upper arm skin.
Time for recovery: Back to work in 7-10 days. 2-3 weeks until exertional activities can be resumed.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent
Articles by Dr. Mosser: The Benefits of Body Contouring After Weight Loss

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Botox Cosmetic

What this procedure is: Treatment for the wrinkles that form during facial expressions (frown lines, forehead creases, crow’s feet). Also treats migraines and hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating).
Duration of procedure: 15 minutes
Type of anesthesia: Topical / Ice
In/Outpatient: Outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary stinging, burning sensation. Faint redness, swelling.
General risks of procedure: Asymmetries, uncommonly a droop of the eyelid or eyebrow can occur
Expected longevity of results: Variable; 90 – 120 days (longer for treatment of hyperhydrosis)
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Treatment of Migraines with Botox®
A History of Botox® Injection Therapy

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Breast Enlargement (Augmentation Mammaplasty)

What this procedure is: Enhance the size of breasts using inflatable implants filled with saline or silicone gel implants.
Duration of procedure: 1 to 2 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, bruising. Breast sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.
General risks of procedure: Lack of implant permanence — surgical removal or replacement of the implants may be required to treat problems, including: deflation; the formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture), which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard; bleeding, infection or malposition. Increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, occasionally permanent. Mammography requires a special technique.
Time for recovery: Back to work: a few days. Physical contact with breasts: 3 to 4 weeks. Fading of scars: several months to a year or more.
Expected longevity of results: Variable. Implants may require additional procedures in the future.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Breast Implants Above or Below the Muscle: How Do You Decide?
Choosing the Breast Augmentation Incision That’s Best for You
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View Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Augmentation Surgery

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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

What this procedure is: Raise and reshape sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning remaining tissue and nipples.
Duration of procedure: 1 to 3 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, discomfort, numbness, dry breast skin. Visible scars.
General risks of procedure: Conspicuous scars; skin loss; infection. Unevenly positioned nipples. Permanent reduction in feeling of nipples or breast.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 1 week or more. Strenuous activities: 1 month. Fading of scars: several months to a year.
Expected longevity of results: Variable; gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight changes may cause new sagging. Results may last longer or be enhanced when breast implants are inserted as part of the procedure.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Lift Surgery

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Breast Reduction

What this procedure is: Reduce the size of breasts by removing excess tissue.
Duration of procedure: 2 to 3 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, bruising. Breast sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.
General risks of procedure: Increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, occasionally permanent. Visible scarring is almost always a trade-off of breast reduction.
Time for recovery: Back to work: a few days. Physical contact with breasts: 3 to 4 weeks. Fading of scars: several months to a year or more.
Expected longevity of results: Usually permanent but subject to further weight gain.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Breast Reduction History
View Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reduction Surgery

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Brazilian Butt Lift

What this procedure is: Augmentation of the buttocks by fat grafting from other areas of the body.
Duration of procedure: Variable. 3-8 hours depending on the amount of fat used.
Type of anesthesia: General anesthesia.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Irregularities of the contour of the trunk or buttock areas.
General risks of procedure: Infection, loss of some of fat graft, considerable future weight gain can disproportionately add volume to the buttocks.
Time for recovery: Return to work in 5-7 days, Return to regular activity in 3-4 weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Fat graft survival is apparent in several months. Then the result achieved usually lasts for years or up to a lifetime.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: The Brazilian Butt Lift is Gaining Popularity in San Francisco

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Buccal (Cheek) Excision

What this procedure is: Removal of the buccal (cheek) fat pads to reduce the size and roundness of cheeks.
Duration of procedure: 1-2 hours
Type of anesthesia: Usually general, or local with sedation
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Mild asymmetries can occur
General risks of procedure: Asymmetries of cheek contour can occur. There is a rare risk of injury to the facial nerves or salivary glands
Time for recovery: 7-10 days for bruising to resolve, swelling disappears in 3-4 weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent

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Buttock Lift

What this procedure is: Lift buttock by removing excess fat and skin in the lower back and upper buttock area.
Duration of procedure: 2 to 3 hours.
Type of anesthesia: General.
In/Outpatient: Either depending on individual circumstances and extent of surgery.
Side effects: Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of back and buttock skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks.
General risks of procedure: Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 2 to 4 weeks. More strenuous activity: 4 to 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.

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Chemical Peel (Phenol and trichloroacetic acid [TCA])

What this procedure is: Restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or sun-damaged facial skin, using a chemical solution to peel away skin’s top layers. Works best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles.
Duration of procedure: 1 to 2 hours for full face.
Type of anesthesia: None; sedation & EKG monitoring may be used.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient. Full-face phenol peel may require admission for 1 to 2 days.
Side effects: Both: Temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness; acute sensitivity to sun. Phenol: Permanent lightening of treated skin; permanent loss of ability to tan.
General risks of procedure: Both: Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores. Phenol: Abnormal color changes (permanent); heart irregularities (rare).
Time for recovery: Phenol: Formation of new skin: 7 to 21 days. Normal activities: 2 to 4 weeks. Full healing and fading of redness: 3 to 6 months TCA: New skin within 5 to 10 days.
Expected longevity of results: Phenol: permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages. TCA: variable (temporary).

Collagen / Restylane / Radiesse / Fat Injections / Juvederm / ArteFill

What this procedure is: Plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin; add fullness to lips, facial areas and backs of hands. Works best on thin, dry, light-colored skin.
Duration of procedure: 15 minutes to 1 hour per session.
Type of anesthesia: Local may be included with the injection.
In/Outpatient: Outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary stinging, throbbing, or burning sensation. Faint redness, swelling, excess fullness.
General risks of procedure: Contour irregularities, infection.
Expected longevity of results: Variable; a few months to 1 year.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Facial Fillers Now Allow HIV-positive and AIDS Patients to Avoid Social Stigma

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Dermabrasion

What this procedure is: Mechanical reduction of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary device. Softens sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
Duration of procedure: A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Type of anesthesia: Local, numbing spray, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to make pigment (tan).
General risks of procedure: Abnormal color changes (permanent). Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4 to 6 weeks. Fading of redness: about 3 months. Return of pigmentation/sun exposure: 6 to 12 months.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.

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Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

What this procedure is: Set prominent ears back closer to the head, or reduce the size of large ears. (Occasionally covered by insurance, especially in children.)
Duration of procedure: 2 to 3 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Young children: usually general. Older children or adults: general or local, with sedation.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary throbbing, aching, swelling, redness and numbness.
General risks of procedure: Infection of cartilage, scarring, bleeding, ear asymmetry, recurrence of the protrusion requiring repeat surgery.
Time for recovery: Back to work or school: 5 to 7 days.
Strenuous activity, contact sports: 4 to 6 weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Usually permanent.

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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

What this procedure is: Correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle. (Upper-eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if used to correct visual field defects)
Duration of procedure: 1 to 3 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Usually local with sedation or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary discomfort, tightness of lids, swelling, bruising. Temporary dryness, burning, itching of eyes. Excessive tearing, sensitivity to light for first few weeks.
General risks of procedure: Temporary blurred or double vision. Infection, bleeding. Swelling at the corners of the eyelids. Dry eyes. Formation of whiteheads. Slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Difficulty in closing eyes completely (rarely permanent). Pulling down of the lower lids (may require further surgery). Blindness (extremely rare).
Time for recovery: Reading: 2 or 3 days. Back to work: 7 to 10 days. Contact lenses: two weeks or more. Strenuous activities, alcohol: about 3 weeks. Bruising and swelling gone: several weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Several years. Can be permanent.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Eyelid Surgery

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Face and Neck lift (Rhytidectomy)

What this procedure is: Improving sagging facial skin, jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, redraping skin. Most often done on men and women over 40.
Duration of procedure: 4-7 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Outpatient or inpatient. Some patients may require short inpatient stay.
Side effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; tight feeling, dry skin. For men, permanent need to shave behind ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned.
General risks of procedure: Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles or feeling (uncommon and usually temporary but may be permanent). Infection, bleeding. Poor healing; excessive scarring. Asymmetry or change in hairline.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 10 to 14 days. More strenuous activity: 2 weeks or more. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Must limit exposure to sun for several months.
Expected longevity of results: Usually 8 to 10 years.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery

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Forehead Lift (Browlift)

What this procedure is: Minimize forehead creases, drooping eyebrows, hooding over eyes, furrowed forehead and frown lines by removing excess tissue, altering muscles and tightening the forehead skin. Commonly done with the modern endoscope technique, which avoids a large ear-to-ear incision in the scalp.
Duration of procedure: 1 to 2 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary swelling, numbness, headaches, bruising. Traditional method: Possible itching and hair loss.
General risks of procedure: Injury to facial nerve, causing loss of motion, muscle weakness, or asymmetrical look. Infection. Loss of hair around incisions.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 7 to 10 days. More strenuous activity: several weeks. Full recovery from bruising: 2 to 3 weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Usually 8 to 10 years.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Browlift Surgery

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Facial Enhancement with Implants

What this procedure is: Change the basic shape and balance of the face using carefully shaped implants to build up a receding chin, add prominence to cheekbones, or reshape the jawline.
Duration of procedure: 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient. Occasionally overnight hospital stay.
Side effects: Temporary discomfort, swelling, bruising, numbness and/or stiffness. In jaw surgery, inability to open mouth fully for several weeks.
General risks of procedure: Shifting or imprecise positioning of implant, or infection around it, requiring a second operation or removal. Excess tightening and hardening of scar tissue around an artificial implant (“capsular contracture”), causing unnatural shape.
Time for recovery: Back to work: about 1 week. Normal appearance: 2 to 4 weeks. Activity that could jar or bump face: 6 weeks or more.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Chin, Cheek and Jaw Implants

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Inverted Nipple Correction

What this procedure is: Correct inverted and asymmetrical nipples.
Duration of procedure: 30 minutes
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Very mild scarring on the nipples.
General risks of procedure: Scarring, small risk of trouble breastfeeding in the future.
Time for recovery: 7-10 days
Expected longevity of results: Permanent
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Inverted Nipple Correction

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Labiaplasty

What this procedure is: Reduction of the labia minora.
Duration of procedure: 30 minutes
Type of anesthesia: Local anesthesia with mild sedation or general anesthesia
In/Outpatient: Outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary pain, swelling and discomfort during recovery.
General risks of procedure: Asymmetry of labia minora, possibility of prolonged healing.
Time for recovery: Return to work in just two or three days; return to regular sexual activity after six weeks.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Latest Trends in Plastic Surgery: Labiaplasty (vaginal lip reduction)

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Laser Facial Resurfacing

What this procedure is: Smooth the face and smooth fine wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device that treats layers of damaged skin. Softens lines around the eyes and mouth and minimizes facial scars and unevenly pigmented areas.
Duration of procedure: A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient, unless combined with other surgical procedures that require hospitalization.
Side effects: Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.
General risks of procedure: Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections (“cold sores”) and other infections (rare).
Time for recovery: Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4-6 weeks. Complete fading of redness: 6 months or less. Return of pigmentation/light sun exposure: 6-12 months.
Expected longevity of results: Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.

Liposuction

What this procedure is: Improve body shape by removing fat deposits with a vacuum device. For larger volumes of fat or for fibrous body areas, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) or Vaser Liposelection may be used. These are new techniques in which a probe is inserted beneath the skin to “liquefy” the fat before it is suctioned.
Duration of procedure: Variable depending on the extent of surgery. In general, 1 to 2 hours or more. anesthesia: Local or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation. Temporary fluid drainage from incision sites.
General risks of procedure: Asymmetry. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Pigmentation changes. Skin injury. Prolonged swelling. Temporary fluid collection beneath skin. Infection.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks. More strenuous activity: 2 to 4 weeks. Full recovery from swelling and bruising: 3 to 6 months or more.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent, with stable postoperative weight.
Articles by Dr. Mosser: Vaser Liposelection – The Evolution is Complete and the Revolution Begins
Body Contouring Options: Your Body Might be Speaking for Itself

View Frequently Asked Questions about Liposuction Surgery

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Lower Body Lift

What this procedure is: Flatten abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles of abdominal wall, while lifting the buttock area by removing excess fat and skin in the lower back and upper buttocks. A lower body lift is essentially a tummy tuck plus a buttock lift, performed at the same time.
Duration of procedure: 5 to 7 hours.
Type of anesthesia: General.
In/Outpatient: There is usually an inpatient stay of 2-4 days after surgery.
Side effects: Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks.
General risks of procedure: Blood clots. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Possible need for transfusion. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 3 to 4 weeks. More strenuous activity: 4 to 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.

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Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

What this procedure is: Reduce enlarged, female-like breast in men using liposuction and/or cutting out excess glandular tissue.
Duration of procedure: 1 hour or more.
Type of anesthesia: General or local.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, burning sensation.
General risks of procedure: Infection. Fluid accumulation. Injury to the skin. Rippling or bagginess of skin. Asymmetry. Pigmentation changes. Excessive scarring if tissue was cut away. Need for second procedure to remove additional tissue.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 3 to 7 days. More strenuous activity: 2 to 3 weeks. Swelling and bruising: 3 to 6 months.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent
Articles by Dr. Mosser: History of Breast Reduction
Male Breast Reduction Surgery to Correct Gynecomastia

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Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

What this procedure is: Reshape nose by reducing or increasing size, removing a hump, changing shape of tip or bridge, narrowing span of nostrils, or changing angle between nose and upper lip. May also relieve some breathing problems. (May be covered by insurance.)
Duration of procedure: 1 to 2 hours or more.
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Temporary swelling, bruising around eyes, nose and headaches. Some bleeding and stiffness.
General risks of procedure: Infection, bleeding, prolonged swelling (especially of the tip of the nose), incomplete improvement, requiring additional surgery.
Time for recovery: Back to work: 1 to 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 2 to 3 weeks. Avoid hitting nose or sunburn: 8 weeks. Final appearance: 1 year or more.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent.
View Frequently Asked Questions about Nasal Surgery (Rhinoplasty)

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Shortening Long Forehead

What this procedure is: Reposition the scalp hairline forward, effectively shortening a long forehead while concealing the incision.
Duration of procedure: 2 hours
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Small incisional scar that is well hidden within the forehead hairline
General risks of procedure: Rare numbness of forehead or difficulty moving forehead muscles. There is also a small possibility of hair loss right around the incision.
Time for recovery: 10-14 days
Expected longevity of results: Permanent

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Thigh Lift

What this procedure is: Removal of excess, sagging, skin in thighs.
Duration of procedure: 2 hours
Type of anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side effects: Scarring, which is variable depending on how aggressive the procedure needs to be
General risks of procedure: Possibility of wide, visible scars, small possibility of loss of sensation to a part of the thigh area.
Time for recovery: Back to work in 7-10 days. 2-3 weeks until exertional activities can be resumed.
Expected longevity of results: Permanent
Articles by Dr. Mosser: The Benefits of Body Contouring After Weight Loss

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Dr. Mosser is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in plastic surgery in San Francisco. If you have any further questions about plastic surgery or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us.