Today there are a number of misconceptions about plastic surgery, some of which have some truth, while others that are completely false. We wanted to debunk the myths and clear the air, so you can have realistic expectations for cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries. Read our top 8 myths about plastic surgery and take a look at our FAQs to learn more about liposuction, Botox®, breast implants, and more!
Plastic Surgery Myths Debunked
1. Cosmetic surgery is the same as plastic surgery.
The terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” are NOT the same! The use of these terms interchangeably has led to many misconceptions about these procedures. Cosmetic surgery is performed solely based on aesthetics and to improve appearance. Plastic surgery also includes reconstructive surgery to repair birth defects or damage caused by trauma or illness.
For example, breast reconstruction after a surgery for breast cancer is considered plastic surgery. A breast augmentation for aesthetics is cosmetic surgery. This difference also applies to what insurances will pay for and what they will not; reconstructive surgery is generally covered, while cosmetic procedures are not.
2. Cosmetic surgery is only for women.
Cosmetic surgery is for women and men! Although the majority of cosmetic surgeries are performed on women, more and more men are electing for cosmetic surgery. According to the 2015 American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics, the top 10 most popular cosmetic surgeries and procedures among males are:
2. Laser hair removal
4. Chemical peel
5. Soft tissue fillers
6. Rhinoplasty (nose shaping)
7. Eyelid surgery
8. Breast reduction
3. Breast augmentation fixes droopy breasts.
4. Breast implants increase the risk of getting cancer.
According to studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), breast implants do not cause breast cancer.
6. Liposuction is a quick way to lose weight.
Liposuction is not a weight-loss surgery, although it does remove fat from trouble spots in the body. Before a liposuction procedure, your doctor will ask you to be as close to your goal weight as possible. The procedure works best if you have good muscle tone. Even after the surgery, it will be important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
7. Liposuction gets rid of cellulite.
Liposuction does not remove cellulite. Cellulite is caused by tight bands of fibrous tissue, and liposuction only removes the layer of fat under the skin, which may even worsen the appearance of cellulite. If you are considering liposuction, discuss this with your plastic surgeon.
8. Anti-aging creams do the same thing as cosmetic procedures.
Anti-aging creams can help smooth fine wrinkles and eliminate age spots. However, they do not produce the same effects as Botox® or other cosmetic procedures. They may not address under-eye issues, which could be caused by a number of factors like skin pigmentation, thin skin, and underlying blood vessels.
1. Does Botox® cause droopy eyelids?
Typically Botox® treatments do not cause droopy eyelids. Droopy eyelids are a very rare and temporary side effect of the procedure.
2. Will getting implants weaken my immune system?
There is no evidence that suggests that silicone implants cause immune disorders. There is no evidence that silicone implants have adverse effects on the immune system.
3. How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants don’t last forever. Many women who undergo breast augmentation will have to have at least one replacement throughout their lifetime. The amount of time that an implant lasts varies; however, the average life of an implant is between 10 and 15 years.
4. What causes an implant to rupture?
An implant rupture may be caused by tiny flaws in the shell of the implant itself or severe compression due to trauma. An implant may still rupture due to the shell weakening over time and this is more common the older the implant is.
5. What happens if my implant ruptures?
If an implant ruptures, seek medical attention. The rupture of an implant can cause infections and pain.
6. Does fat does come back after getting liposuction?
No, fat cells removed during liposuction do not return after the surgery. Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in the body. These fat cells are produced from adolescence through teenage years. Once they are gone, they’re gone for good. However, that does not mean that fat cannot appear in other areas of the body. Any fat cells that are left behind can continue to grow.
7. What are the qualifications of a plastic surgeon?
Unfortunately, any doctor with a valid medical license can market himself as a “plastic” or “cosmetic” surgeon. This is why anyone looking to get plastic surgery should do some research beforehand to look for plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
8. How long is recovery time after plastic surgery?
The recovery time for plastic surgery depends on the procedure. Many procedures have a recovery time of only one week. Below is the average time you should expect for recovery for various procedures:
• Breast augmentation: 1 week
• Breast lift: 1 week
• Breast reduction: 1 week
• Arm lift: 1 week
• Liposuction: 1 week
• Tummy tuck: 2-3 weeks
• Body lift: 2-3 weeks
• Brow lift: 1 to 2 weeks
• Facelift: 2 weeks
• Eyelid surgery: 1-2 weeks
These results may vary. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and you may not be fully healed in this time frame. You doctor will discuss realistic healing expectations with you. Generally, expect more time for recovery than you think, just to be safe. Especially for facial surgeries, you may still experience swelling and bruising.
9. How do I know if cosmetic surgery is right for me?
Doctors today typically look for candidates who have a good overall health and realistic expectations. You should seek advice from professionals about your specific situation.
10. Will I have scars after my surgery?
As with any invasive procedure, there may be scarring. Plastic surgeons to their best to minimize the appearance of scars, and they have gotten pretty good at it! However, a number of factors impact scarring, including:
• How the incision is closed
• How well the scar is cared for after the procedure
• Skin quality or ethnicity
• Where the incision is made
While there will be scarring with any invasive procedure, for many, the scars are hidden. For example, scars from a breast augmentation are hidden in the fold of the breast and facelift scars are hidden along the hairline.