close up of a woman getting examination of face from doctor in white surgical gloves

When you hear the phrase “plastic surgery,” what immediately comes to mind? Is it overdone celebrities or people who look decades younger than they should? Or is it mommy makeovers and tummy tucks? Everyone has certain assumptions or beliefs about plastic surgery, but not all are true.  Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that involves the correction or restoration of form and function. While it has the power to improve patients’ lives significantly, many misconceptions about the field can lead to misunderstandings and misinformation. Plastic surgery can be a life-changing procedure for many people, but it is important to have accurate information and realistic expectations. Myths continue to impact people’s beliefs about plastic surgery misconceptions.

Some common misconceptions about plastic surgery include believing it is only for the vain or shallow, that it is always risky and painful, or that it can fix all physical imperfections. However, these ideas are not always accurate and can harm those considering plastic surgery. Many safe and attainable procedures are available today for those interested in plastic surgery. Cutting through all the misconceptions can help someone better determine what is right for them and their body. 

Plastic Surgery Misconceptions

With so much information available through sources like the internet, people can gain new knowledge, but also spread disinformation. Myths tend to stick around for a long time, even when proven untrue. While many of these misconceptions were dispelled years ago, myths continue to impact people’s beliefs about plastic surgery. Here are some of the main misconceptions about plastic surgery in 2023. 

  1. It’s All For Vanity

Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery is not just for vain or shallow people. Many individuals who seek out plastic surgery do so for functional or medical purposes. For example, someone may undergo plastic surgery to repair a congenital disability, reconstruct a breast after a mastectomy for breast cancer, or correct a deviated septum to improve breathing. Plastic surgery can also address physical issues that may cause discomfort or decrease self-esteem, such as large breasts that cause back pain or sagging skin after significant weight loss.

While it is true that some people undergo plastic surgery to improve their appearance, it is important to recognize that this desire can often stem from a deeper need for self-improvement and a desire to feel more comfortable in one’s skin.

  1. It’s Unsafe

Plastic surgery has come a long way in terms of safety in recent years and is now considered a very safe surgical specialty. As with any surgery, there are risks involved. However, the dangers of plastic surgery are low, and the vast majority of procedures are completed without complications.

One of the most important factors in the safety of plastic surgery is the qualifications and experience of the surgeon. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with the training and expertise to perform the procedure safely is essential. A qualified plastic surgeon can also discuss a procedure’s potential risks and benefits and any steps to minimize those risks.

  1. It Will Leave You Looking Unnatural

Many people still assume plastic surgery will leave you looking like you’ve had a lot of work done. While some things may be noticeably different when someone is fully healed, many people have plastic surgery done that is subtle and more natural looking. People want to enhance their already present features in a way that looks normal and fits their existing figure. A common misconception is that one can always tell when someone has had plastic surgery – in fact even experienced plastic surgeons can’t always tell. However, it is much easier to tell when the plastic surgery is done poorly. 

Many techniques and treatments are available today, so individuals can choose a more specific look that suits them. The customizability leads to more natural and subtle changes to someone instead of an obvious look where work was done.

  1. It’s Only For Famous Rich People

Plastic surgery costs money. That’s a no-brainer. It isn’t only accessible to the rich and famous and it isn’t only designed for the rich and famous, either. 

In reality, individuals from all walks of life may seek out plastic surgery for various reasons. Some people may undergo plastic surgery to address functional impairments or medical issues, while others may be motivated by aesthetic concerns. Many people who undergo plastic surgery do so to improve their self-esteem and quality of life, regardless of their financial status.

There are also financing options available to help make plastic surgery more accessible. Many plastic surgeons offer financing plans or will work with patients to devise a payment plan that works for them. Some health insurance plans may also cover certain plastic surgery procedures if they are deemed medically necessary.

  1. Men Don’t Get Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is not just for women. In fact, the number of men undergoing plastic surgery has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Many plastic surgery procedures are popular among men, including liposuction, gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction), and rhinoplasty (nose reshaping). Men may also seek non-surgical procedures such as Botox or fillers to address aging signs or enhance their appearance.

Like women, men may seek out plastic surgery for various reasons. Some men may be self-conscious about certain physical features and want to improve their appearance. In contrast, others may be motivated by functional concerns such as repairing damage caused by an injury or correcting a deviated septum.

  1. Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery Are The Same

Cosmetic and plastic surgery are often used interchangeably, but they differ. Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that involves the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body. It can be performed to correct functional impairments, such as those caused by a congenital disability or injury, or to address aesthetic concerns.

On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery solely focused on improving the body’s appearance. Procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks are all examples of cosmetic surgery.

One key difference between plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon is the required training and expertise. Plastic surgeons are medical doctors who have completed extensive training in plastic surgery, including reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. In contrast, cosmetic surgeons may have a different level of training and may not be board-certified in plastic surgery.

  1. There Will Be A Lot of Scars Or No Scars At All

Two opposite myths about plastic surgery involve a debate about whether or not it creates scars. Some say it can remove scars, while others declare it will create more. And neither of these is entirely accurate. All surgeries tend to leave some scarring, and plastic surgery is no different, but it also depends greatly on the procedure you have done. A tummy tuck can help remove a scar from a C-section, but it will leave one from the new procedure. Getting Botox will not leave a scar since it is injected with a needle. 

The best way to determine how a procedure will impact your body and whether it will leave a scar is to consult a professional plastic surgeon. If scarring is a big concern for you, you may want to consider specific treatments that won’t leave any noticeable marks, like injections or laser therapy options. 

  1. It’s a Way To Lose Weight

Plastic surgery, liposuction especially, is often thought of as a weight loss procedure, but this isn’t true. Liposuction will help remove stubborn fat from areas that patients are unable to target through diet and exercise, but patients are asked to be at or near their goal weight when they go in for plastic surgery. 

Many options help remove fat and excess skin, which can show up as shed pounds on a scale. But the point of these procedures is not weight loss; it is to help sculpt the body into the patient’s desired shape. Some people may have plastic surgery after extreme weight loss and still have loose skin or a few pockets of stubborn fat, but the procedure is not designed to help someone lose weight. This is important to remember when understanding why people get plastic surgery and what it can be used for. 

  1. Implants Are Dangerous

There is a common misconception that getting breast implants or other types of implants through plastic surgery is dangerous. While it is true that all surgeries carry some level of risk, the risks associated with breast implants and other types of implants are generally low.

Breast implants, for example, have been used for many years and have a long history of safety. Complications from breast implants are rare, and most women who receive breast implants are satisfied with the results. Potential complications of breast implants include infection, bleeding, reactions to the anesthesia, and rare complications such as breast implant rupture or leakage.

Often people will hear of a single case where things didn’t go well, which is what they will believe is valid for all surgeries. The more time passes, the more technology improves. With these improvements come safer procedures and a stronger understanding of what is safe for the body. Implants have come a long way; they offer a safe way to achieve specific physical goals without risking health. 

  1. Plastic Surgery is For Old People

This myth is almost on its way out. More people have access to and have seen the benefits of plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments today. Botox treatments initiated in the early 30s can help someone look younger for longer and prevent wrinkles and fine lines. More people can afford these kinds of treatments and are taking advantage of them thanks to new technologies that make them safer and more accessible. 

The idea that plastic surgery is just for older people has long been prevalent. People may suggest plastic surgery is only to help someone look younger and is for those trying to escape aging. Plastic surgery can help someone recover from traumatic injuries like burns. It can help trans individuals feel and look more like their preferred gender identity. It can help correct congenital physical conditions. There is no age limit for these kinds of life-changing procedures. While many doctors prefer someone’s body to be done growing so they can more accurately predict the outcomes and reduce the risk of growth disturbances. Plastic surgery can benefit people young and old. 

No More Myths

Clearing up myths and misconceptions about plastic surgery can help people make more educated and well-rounded decisions about what they want. Many individuals seek out plastic surgery for reasons other than what we assume. These decisions can be entirely personal and unique.

As plastic surgery becomes more accessible and more procedures are developed with new technology, more people will seek treatment. There is nothing wrong with having a procedure done, whether to look a certain way for aesthetic preference or to help with a medical condition. 
The most important thing when it comes to plastic surgery is that you are making the decision for yourself, and you are working with a licensed professional. If you are interested in learning more about certain procedures, reach out to Leif Rogers, MD, and his team today. Dr. Rogers is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience. You can have your questions answered and learn about what can be done for you today.

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