Plastic Surgery creates mental images of movie stars undergoing various procedures to make themselves look younger and more attractive. It is often perceived as only aesthetic procedures; however, plastic surgery encompasses both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Helping patients look their best as they recover from injury or cancer is an important part of Plastic Surgery and is a significant component of the extensive training plastic surgeons receive.
What are some facts versus myths of plastic surgery?
Myth #1: Plastic surgeries are only cosmetic procedures.
Plastic surgery is divided into two categories: cosmetic and reconstructive. Popular cosmetic surgeries (rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction, etc.) can help patients look their best and feel more confident. A good plastic surgeon can help you look like a refreshed, natural version of yourself! Communication between you and your doctor is the key to getting the look you want.
What we rarely hear about is the reconstructive side of plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery has the additional purposes of restoring normal function and appearance to a child born with a birth defect or the damage caused by trauma or disease. As examples, reconstructive surgeries are beneficial to babies born with a cleft upper lip or palate, car accident victims who need facial reconstruction, patients with hand injuries or cancer patients who need breast reconstruction after mastectomy. These are but a few examples of reconstructive plastic surgeries that aid in improving the quality of life for patients.
Myth #2: Plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are the same
What’s the Difference between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon? Many medically licensed physicians perform cosmetic surgery, including plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, ear, nose, and throat doctors (otolaryngologists) and even some family practice doctors. However, physicians are not required to have trained in Plastic Surgery or have an official certification in plastic or cosmetic surgery to perform it. All Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeon member doctors are highly trained plastic surgeons who have specifically trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and are board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Myth #3: Plastic surgeons leave no scars
Scarless surgery does not exist. By definition, an incision in the skin will leave a scar. However, plastic surgeons are skilled at not only minimizing but also hiding scars effectively. When a facelift is performed, for example, the scars are hidden around the ears where it is less noticeable. A tummy tuck scar can be hidden underneath the bikini line or breast augmentation scars can be hidden under the underwire of the bra. Scars will fade over time as they heal but they will not fade away entirely.
Myth #4: Plastic surgery stops the aging process.
After getting a procedure done, people will continue to age. Plastic surgery will not stop or slow down aging. Lasting results will depend on various factors like lifestyle, diet, exercise, etc.
Myth #5: Recovery takes a long time
New surgical techniques have reduced the number of days people need for recovery. Most cosmetic procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in an accredited surgery center or hospital operating room. You will likely need at least two days for a smoother recovery. Your surgeon will recommend how many days you will need for recovery based on the procedure and other factors.
Myth #6: Dallas area cosmetic surgery is unaffordable.
The cost of cosmetic surgery is less expensive than most people realize. Most, if not all, Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons members offer financing options that can spread out the payments over 6 months or more.
Fact #7: Plastic surgery is not for men or people over a certain age.
Though there is a common perception that only women undergo plastic surgery, this is untrue. Nowadays more and more men are getting procedures like liposuction, gynecomastia (male breast reduction), etc. done as well. Healthy individuals are the best candidates for plastic surgery, so therefore, it is not age dependent. Though doctors advise against children undergoing cosmetic procedures as they are still growing, reconstructive procedures are carried out across all age groups.
To have a detailed discussion with a board-certified plastic surgeon near you, schedule a consultation with a member of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons within our member directory.