Many myths surround the seemingly glamorous world of plastic surgery. But in fact, plastic surgery is a lot like every other medical specialty with highly-trained physicians providing everything from reconstructive hand surgery to burn scar revisions. Here are my top five plastic surgery myths.
Although breast augmentations, Botox and facelifts get all the press, plastic surgery encompasses everything from correcting birth defects such as cleft palates to post-cancer breast reconstruction and work-related hand injuries.
Plastic surgeons care about the functional and overall results after surgery, not just the aesthetics (although we are specifically trained to optimize those, as well). When a patient does choose to have surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is often to correct areas which are not amenable to diet, weight loss or nonsurgical procedures.
If plastic surgeons only operated on the 1%, we wouldn't have a thriving plastic surgery industry.
Most aesthetic patients are not the rich and famous, but are average people who simply wish to restore confidence, enhance their overall appearance and improve their lives.
Although women have been the traditional customers of plastic surgery, men are turning to plastic surgery in increasing numbers.
Less invasive procedures such as Botox, laser treatments and dermal fillers can give men a rejuvenated and naturally youthful appearance without any downtime and at relatively low costs. These, along with liposuction, are the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments for men, with many men reporting a need for a competitive edge in the workforce as the reason they have pursued cosmetic treatments.
Plastic surgeons are great at making scars look better, more refined and smaller, but all types of plastic surgery will generally cause some type of scar formation. We can often recommend the best way to minimize scarring, and give advice and treatments on how to make your scar look as great as possible after surgery.
And while many plastic surgery procedures are long lasting and can give you years, if not decades of personal satisfaction, many factors determine how long the results will last. Plastic surgery can turn back the hands of time - but the clock keeps on ticking. Great skin care, less-invasive office procedures, surgical touch-ups, and your overall health are all important to maintain your natural good looks.
All plastic surgeons do not have the same training. Many doctors trained in, and board certified in, other specialties such as gynecology or family medicine have ventured into plastic surgery, causing what is known as "white coat confusion". Yes, they are board certified - but not in plastic surgery.
Likewise, doctors who report to be board certified in cosmetic surgery are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Being board certified in plastic surgery means that a physician has undergone years of specific training related to all the nuances of cosmetic and plastic surgery.
Patients choosing a surgeon for their cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures should always inquire about a doctor's specific board certifications and if he or she is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).