8 myths about cosmetic surgery
Before moving on to the myths versus the truths about cosmetic surgery, it is important to understand the difference between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery.
Cosmetic surgeons’ training focuses on enhancing the normal structures and aesthetics of the face and body. One hundred percent of the training for cosmetic surgeons is in cosmetic surgical procedures. Plastic surgeons’ training primarily focuses on reconstruction, trauma, disorders, burns, and other medical conditions, with only a portion of their training being in cosmetic surgical procedures and aesthetics.
That being said, a lot of conflicting and confusing information is available out there regarding cosmetic surgery. This list will serve to debunk the most common myths.
Myth #1: Results will be achieved immediately.
The truth is that the after photos you see when considering cosmetic procedures are not taken immediately after surgeries and procedures. A recovery period is required, although recovery requires much less time than it used to. All cosmetic surgeries in our practice are outpatient, and your best results will show once you’re fully healed. Aftercare, recovery time and expectations will be discussed thoroughly with you at your consultation.
Myth #2: The scarring from surgery will be terrible.
As with any procedure that includes cutting skin, there is generally scarring involved. Cosmetic surgeons learn to minimize any appearance of scars by choosing the best location for incisions as well as the most effective technique in closing the incisions. Typically, an incision, if needed for your procedure, will be made in a natural crease of the skin or an inconspicuous area to help hide any scarring that might result.
You will learn about the size and location of scars, and how they can be hidden, during your consultation. Dr. Alouf’s motto regarding scarring is, “I like to make elegant improvements without leaving my footprint.”
Myth #3: After surgery, you’ll look “done.”
People are always afraid there will be evidence they have had work done. For example, will facial surgery make you look artificial? In reality, people get comments that they look more rested, or they are carrying themselves differently. With cosmetic surgery, only bad work gets blatantly noticed. Good work goes unnoticed, although there is a noticeable difference in confidence or a more happy, glowing appearance whose reason is not obvious.
Myth #4: My results won’t last very long.
If you take care of yourself — proper skin care, for example, after laser treatment or a face-lift — your results will certainly last longer than if you return to the damaging habits that caused the trouble areas to intensify to begin with. If you go back to sunbathing or tanning, if you keep smoking, if you keep doing other things that can be harmful to your skin, your results won’t last as long as if you enjoyed these things in moderation or eliminated them.
Even yet, if you do not do any other procedures, you will still look better in 20 years than if you had done nothing. If you have laser treatment on one side of the face, you would be able to tell in 20 years which side had been done and which had not. The same is true with breast lifts — if one breast is lifted, in 40 years, you will still be able to tell a difference. Things still age, but with cosmetic surgery, we are trying to rewind the clock.
Myth #5: Cosmetic surgery is only for women.
According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Consumer Survey, 83 percent of men surveyed said that they believe personal appearance plays a role in their professional success and advancement. Each year, more men are having cosmetic procedures to help them feel more confident and youthful, for the same reasons women elect to have the procedures.
Myth #6: Liposuction is an effective treatment for obesity.
Liposuction removes fat from targeted areas, and the maximum amount of fat loss through liposuction is typically 10-12 pound at most. Liposuction is best reserved for individuals of a healthy weight who may have trouble spots or areas they cannot tone through normal diet and exercise.
Myth #7: Breast implants prevent breastfeeding.
Some women breastfeed following breast augmentation with no trouble at all, and some find it to be a challenge. However, the same is true for women who try to breastfeed without implants. The Mayo Clinic has some great preliminary information on what to expect. As with all other concerns, you should discuss this with your surgeon at your consultation.
Myth #8: Breast implants increase the risk of breast cancer.
No evidence supports this myth. The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery addresses this myth in depth on its website. It is important to continue routine breast cancer screenings and regularly scheduled mammograms following breast augmentation, as you would do without.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 540-375-9070 with any additional questions and to schedule a consultation to discuss the procedure you are considering. We want to help guide you and make sure you are educated and informed so that you can make the right decision for you.