In this era of information overload and hyper-consciousness about appearance, it is getting increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, reality from myth. In light of the lightning-fast pace of our modern lives, it becomes all the more important to make every attempt to be an informed and educated consumer, particularly if you are considering taking a step as significant as obtaining cosmetic surgery. To this end, here are seven of the most commonly held misconceptions about cosmetic therapy, along with the real truth.
Myth: plastic surgery leaves no scars.
Fact: all cosmetic operations result in scarring of some kind. However, a skilled surgeon will make incisions in directions and in places designed to minimize their visibility. Endoscopic procedures such as breast augmentations, forehead lifts and tummy tucks result in especially minimal scarring.
Myth: liposuction is for losing weight.
Fact: while this procedure may result in moderate dropping of pounds, its true goal is to help you get rid of pockets of fat that cannot be removed by conventional strategies such as diet and exercise. When asked who would be the best candidates for liposuction procedures, most physicians will say that the surgery is most effective for people who wish to sculpt their abdomens, hips, backsides, neck, or cheeks, with weight loss being only a secondary benefit.
Myth: fat comes back after liposuction.
Fact: by the time you are born, your body has produced the total amount of fat cells you will ever have. As you gain weight, the cells in certain places such as your thighs become larger. When liposuction is performed, a significant portion of these cells is removed from the targeted area. They will never return again.
Myth: you can tell when someone has had a facelift.
Fact: a well-done facelift is not detectable; it is only the botched ones that are readily apparent. A good surgeon will make sure that you do not end up displaying the three telltale signs of facelift: an unnatural tightness or pull to the face that results in a mask-like effect, improperly placed incisions that make them visible or lead to hair loss along the temporal area or along the back of the ear, and distortion in the shape of the earlobe itself.
Myth: you can’t breastfeed if you have implants.
Fact: there is no evidence to support this contention. However, some women who have implants find that they are not able to produce enough milk to feed their babies. If this proves to be the case for you, supplementation with formula is a safe and viable option.
Myth: breast implants need to be replaced every ten years.
Fact: in reality, implants need to be replaced when they start to leak. While this can sometimes occur nine or ten years after the initial augmentation procedure, most women find that their implants last far longer. Many doctors recommend that patients follow the tried and true rule, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” when it comes to their implants. Unless you are experiencing a deflated saline or ruptured gel implant, they recommend that you leave well enough alone. The only other reason you might need to have your implant replaced before the ten-year mark occurs if you experience what is known as capsular contracture. In this complication, scar tissue forms around the implant, resulting in excessive hardening of the breast tissue and symptoms of pain that feel like cramps or contractions.
Myth: only plastic surgeons can perform cosmetic surgery.
Fact: there are no laws dictating who can and cannot conduct cosmetic surgical procedures. That is why it is vitally important that you take the time to choose the best possible surgeon. In recent years, patients have begun to take advantage of tools such as websites that furnish such information as schooling, specialties, and even the number of malpractice suits filed. Make sure to select a surgeon who is a member of ASPS, since all of these are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to perform surgeries on the face and other parts of the body. If your in the UK you can look out for surgeons who hold FRSC (plast) are on the GMC Specialist Register and are a member of BAAPS or BAPRAS. These physicians must many years of surgical experience, must be in the field of plastic surgery. They are also required to operate only in accredited medical facilities and to remain up to date in their knowledge of changes and innovations in their field of medical expertise.
The decisions you make about the type of cosmetic surgery you want to have and the cosmetic surgeon who will perform it will have a pivotal effect on your life and your physical appearance for years to come. That is why you should take great care in researching your procedure, choosing your doctor, and getting all of your questions answered before you agree to any cosmetic surgery. This vigilance can mean the difference between misunderstanding and dissatisfaction with the outcome and happiness with the results. You are worth the extra time and trouble this research may take, and in the end you will be glad you not only gave yourself a beautiful new look, but also a strong foundation of knowledge to back it.