The average person gets most of their information about plastic surgery through the media and internet. As neither of these outlets require much fact checking, it stands to reason that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about plastic surgery. It is very common for people to see it as an easier alternative to a good diet and exercise or simply dismiss it as something that’s only for the vain.
Below are some of the biggest misconceptions and why they are simply not true.
1. It’s very risky
It is certainly true that any type of surgery carries some risk, but the vast majority of plastic surgery procedures are carried out without complications. The risk of complications can be further reduced by seeking out a reputable and experienced surgeon who specializes in the type of surgery you are considering. As saftey is my number one concern, I never take risks with patient saftey. Every patient undergoes a full history and physical examination in consultation to try to unveil any medical problems that could pose risks. All patients are screened preoperatively with lab work, EKGs, and if needed, cardiac clearance before undergoing surgery. I do all my cases in fully accredited hosptials and surgery centers, I DO NOT perform any office surgery with sedation. In addition, all the anestheiologists that we utilize are medical doctors and are fully accredited.
2. It’s only for women
Women do make up the majority of my patient population, but the number of men who are seeking out cosmetic treatments is growing month by month. Some of the most popular types of treatment for men are Botox, which gives the skin a smooth and rejuvenated appearance, and liposuction which helps sculpt those difficult to treat areas like the love handles and lower abdomen. The ever growing importance placed on fitness and appearance in the modern world means that more and more men are likely to seek cosmetic treatments in the future.
3. Liposuction is an alternative to dieting
This is still a surprisingly common misconception about plastic surgery. Liposuction, rather than being intended as alternative to losing weight through diet and exercise, is intended to remove localized fat from specific areas. Often people will find that no matter how much they exercise, there are certain areas of their bodies that have excess fat. This is the true benefit of liposuction, it is not meant as a weight loss treatment.
4. Breast implants last forever
Breast augmentation surgery is often viewed as a one-time permanent procedure, but this is not the case. To maintain the appearance of the breasts, follow-up surgery is often required. This is used to combat the effects of aging and the environment. As women age and ultimately go through menopause, they will find that their breast tissue loses some of it’s volume and becomes replaced by fatty tissue. They will also notice that the breast skin thins and loses some of it’s elasticity. With that said, implants placed early in one’s 20’s or 30’s will have a different impact on the breasts as women age. This usually requires some type of revision breast surgery, usually some type of breast lift, commonly done at the same time as an implant exchange.
Implants must also be replaced every 10-12 years as recommended by the FDA. The FDA also recommends that breast augmentation with silicone implants, patients go through MRI screening 3 years after the initial placement of the implants and every 2 years after that to screen for rupture of the implant.
5. It’s only for the rich and vain
This is a somewhat understandable misconception given the number of stories we read about rich celebrities who end up ruining their identity by going to far and having a very unnatural appearance. However, plastic surgery isn’t just for the rich and vain; in fact it’s often used to correct abnormalities and congenital conditions that cannot be treated any other way.