Myth #1: Every surgeon who claims to be a plastic surgeon is a plastic surgeon.
Reality#1: Not true. There are no state laws that forbid physicians with little or no training in plastic surgery to claim to be plastic surgeons. Before you trust your life and looks to someone who claims to be a plastic surgeon, you should engage in extensive research. At the very least, check your plastic surgeon’s training, credentials and certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Myth #2: All Plastic Surgeon are created equal.
Reality#2: Not true. Although all plastic surgeons have common core training, there are differences among them. Individual interests and skill levels vary. Cosmetic surgery is in part an art form.
Myth #3: In plastic surgery, it is wise to shop for the lowest price.
Reality#3: No. This can backfire. Safety in surgery has inherent costs. A surgeon who provides a state of the art surgical setting, employs the services of experienced anesthesiologists, and utilizes the latest in drugs for anesthesia will have higher costs of doing business. A “cheap” deal could prove quite costly.
Myth#4: Plastic surgery leaves no scars.
Reality #4: Plastic surgery does leave scars. All incisions heal by scarring. Plastic surgeons are trained to make incisions in strategic locations to minimize the visibility of scars. They can also be minimized when surgery is done endoscopically.
Myth #5: Local anesthesia is better.
Reality #5: Recently, some surgeons have been promoting the use of local anesthesia for plastic surgeries. Although it is possible to perform breast surgery, including breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction using local anesthesia, general anesthesia offers a number of benefits. General anesthesia allows for increased comfort and the presence of an anesthesiologist means your oxygen levels will be constantly monitored to ensure your safety. General anesthesia also means you will have no inadvertent movements during surgery, which could affect the procedure and your results. With general anesthesia you can avoid the large doses of narcotics necessary for performing surgery under local anesthesia and all their side effects.
Myth #6: You need new breast implants every 10 years.
Reality #6: In the past, some surgeons recommended preventative replacement of breast implants every 10 years. This would ideally allow breast implants to be removed before they ruptured. However, with the excellent safety record shown by breast implants and the longer-lasting designs of newer breast implants, this is not commonly done. Replacement of breast implants is recommended when necessary, if the breast implants rupture or if the results of your breast augmentation no longer look attractive. This will vary from patient to patient, but with proper care many patients experience 15 years or more of great-looking results.
Myth #7: You need at least one month to be completely recovered from breast augmentation.
Reality #7: Every person has a different healing rate, so it’s impossible to say what your recovery time will be. However, in a recent survey of breast surgery patients, the average time to patients feeling “back to normal” was 27.8 days. So a month is a good estimate for your recovery time, but it may be less, and most women will be able to return to work and the majority of daily activities in less than a week.
Myth #8: Plastic Surgery is Dangerous.
Reality #8: Plastic surgery, like every surgery, does have risks, but those risks are small. Every year, millions of Americans undergo plastic surgery. The majority of them experience no surgical complications whatsoever, and only a tiny fraction experience a serious complication. The myth that plastic surgery is dangerous comes from a small number of plastic surgery patient deaths, the majority of which occur under the care of a poorly-experienced practitioner that may not even be a doctor, let alone a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Myth #9: You need at least one month to be completely recovered from breast augmentation.
Reality #9: One of the benefits of many injectable fillers is that their results are temporary, allowing you to gauge their effectiveness and your desired treatment. Nothing could be worse than a permanent result that is undesirable. In addition, our experience with permanent fillers is limited and therefore we are unsure of the long-term effects of their use. Finally, the characteristics necessary to create the permanent effect of injectable fillers changes their effectiveness and makes them unsuitable for many applications.
Myth #10: Laser liposuction is superior to traditional liposuction.
Reality #10: Laser liposuction has been cleared for marketing in the United States on the basis of being “substantially equivalent” to traditional liposuction. Although marketing material touts the superiority of laser liposuction, these claims are supported by a small number of studies conducted by the manufacturer. Laser liposuction has not received full approval from the FDA for its technology and for its claims of superiority over traditional liposuction.
Myth #11: There is a proven way to permanently remove cellulite that really works.
Reality #11: Cellulite is not related to the amount of fat a person has, but instead to the way that fat is structured. Our bodies are genetically programmed to store fat in honeycombed chambers below the skin. These chambers are divided by fibrous tissue that gives them shape and strength. These fibrous tissues also create the dimpled appearance we describe as cellulite. Although there are several treatments that seem to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, if not treated regularly it always returns.
Myth #12: No scar is involved in plastic surgery.
Reality #12: Whenever the surface of the skin is broken, whether in surgery or due to trauma, the healing process will likely result in a scar. Plastic surgeons exercise great care in performing surgery using the gentlest means possible, which can diminish the ultimate visibility of a scar. They also give you post-surgical instructions on caring for your skin, which can help further reduce the appearance of scars. However, it is unlikely that your scars will completely vanish.
Myth #13: A facelift can make you look like a completely different person.
Reality #13:The goal of a facelift is to rejuvenate your facial features while maintaining the characteristics that make your face uniquely yours. To ensure you get this result, it’s important to work with an experienced face lift surgeon who knows how to reverse the effects of facial aging without changing the your appearance.
Myth #14: Any board certification is a good thing.
Reality #14:Compared to no board certification, any board certification is a good thing, but in many cases a surgeon’s board certification may be irrelevant to the procedure you are asking a surgeon to perform. For example, how much insight does a board certification in Allergy and Immunology give into colon and rectal surgery (which is governed by its own board). If you are looking for a surgeon to perform a specialized medical procedure, you want a surgeon certified in that specialized area of medicine. If you are looking for a surgeon to perform a plastic surgery procedure, board certification in plastic surgery ensures your surgeon has training in that area.
If you are considering plastic surgery, it’s important that you talk to several plastic surgeons. Don’t hesitate to ask the surgeons probing questions, and be sure you gauge their response to determine its honesty. This will help you become a more informed patient and help you get the treatment that is right for you. Some plastic surgery myths are innocent misunderstandings that get passed around in gossip and hearsay. Others are actually promoted by people who are trying to deceive patients. Becoming an informed patient is your best tool to ensure you get the best possible results from your plastic surgery procedure.
At the Cosmetic Surgical Center serving Dallas, Texas, we are dedicated to ensuring any potential patient has the knowledge to make the decision that is right for them. We invite you to talk personally and ask questions of our plastic surgeon Dr. Vasdev Rai. Please schedule your free personal consultation today.
Read Dr. Rai’s blogs about Safety here.