Plastic surgery is a broad term used to describe any kind of cosmetic or reconstructive medical procedure performed by a specially trained surgeon. The purpose is to improve the appearance, function, and self-esteem of the patient. It may also be done to restore physical features lost due to injury or disease. In the United States, plastic surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery which has a rigorous testing procedure. Most procedures are performed on the face, breast, head, or neck.
In recent years there has been a big increase in non-surgical procedures such as chemical peels to treat acne scarring and Botox injections to stop wrinkles caused by facial muscle contractions. Other options include hair transplants, laser skin resurfacing, and breast enhancements.
Because of the growing number of people who want to improve their appearance or help people born with birth defects without going under the knife, there are more myths regarding plastic surgery than ever before. Read on for some commonly believed plastic surgery myths debunked:
1) Plastic surgery procedures are always painful
While it is true that some plastic surgery procedures require the use of anesthesia, many do not. For example, people who want to get rid of their acne scars in order to improve their self-image can have a chemical peel done instead. This procedure uses alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which exfoliates skin to make it smoother and more even in color. It is not painful but gives the same results as surgery. Even Botox injections are completely painless. The wrinkles caused by facial muscle contractions (such as lines on a forehead) can be treated with botulinum toxin type A that paralyzes muscles and makes wrinkles disappear.
2) Plastic surgery is only for the rich
Plastic surgery is not expensive if you choose wisely. There are some procedures that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but there are also procedures available for a low price. The most common mistake people make when thinking about plastic surgery is to give in to pressure and get work done that is unnecessary. It is true that the better the surgeon, the higher the price will be. But an experienced and highly skilled cosmetic surgeon will help you decide what procedure is right for you and only offer recommendations for surgery that will result in a natural-looking outcome.
3) All plastic surgeons are basically alike
This couldn’t be further from the truth. While all plastic surgeons must pass a rigorous examination to become board-certified, there are many different levels of experience. A new surgeon will have far less experience than a doctor who has been in practice for years. Consider going to someone with a proven track record for reconstructive procedures such as breast reconstruction after cancer treatment or for helping women who have a hard time breastfeeding. Avoid the young doctor just learning the trade for shape-ups and other minor procedures.
4) Plastic surgery is for people who want to look like someone else
It might surprise you to find out that only about 10% of all plastic surgeries performed are what most people would call “cosmetic.” The rest are procedures that help people born with birth defects or recover from trauma. For example, someone who suffered an injury during a car accident and had the use of their hand lost can get a procedure called key-hole surgery to restore movement in their limb. It’s important to know what is possible when considering plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery is a good option if you want to improve your appearance or help someone who was born with physical defects. While it can be tempting to get work done so that you will look just like the celebrity of your choice, avoid this. You will probably end up being very unhappy with the results and will have wasted a lot of money. Instead, it is better to find a doctor who will be honest with you and help you choose the right procedure for your needs.