In the over seventy years since plastic surgery became a recognized, board-certified medical specialty, it has quickly become a major part of our culture. From reality television shows to magazine covers and documentaries, the public has never been more aware of the ways that cosmetic surgery impacts patients. However there are still many myths and misconceptions about plastic surgery that people still believe. Here are five of the most common:
Myth One: Plastic Surgery is all about Vanity
While breast augmentation, Botox® and facelift procedures are the most well-known and publicized forms of plastic surgery, a significant majority of the procedures performed in the United States are reconstructive, encompassing everything from correcting birth defects such as cleft palates to post-cancer breast reconstruction, tumor removal, and even work-related hand injuries. Moreover, even when a patient does choose to have surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is often seen as a means to achieve less tangible results. According to the recent Consumer Survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, 83 percent of men believe that personal appearance plays a role in their professional success and advancement. Studies have also shown that, after plastic surgery, the average patient felt healthier and less anxious and had more self-esteem.
Myth Two: Plastic Surgery is Just for Women
The popularity of cosmetic surgery among men has been steadily increasing for years. Studies conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have shown a 273% increase between 1997 and 2013 in the number of male patients undergoing cosmetic procedures. Nose surgery, eyelid surgery, and liposuction are among the most popular procedures among men, but many men are also opting for male breast reduction surgery to treat gynecomastia, a relatively common condition characterized by an excess of fat and/or breast glandular tissue in the chest area.
Myth Three: Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery Are the Same Thing
The term “cosmetic surgery” is not an official specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Many doctors trained or even board-certified in other specialties, such as gynecology or family medicine for example, may attempt cosmetic procedures and call themselves cosmetic surgeons. However, board certified plastic surgeons require extensive specialized training related to all the nuances of cosmetic and plastic surgery, including at least two years dedicated to plastic surgery alone. Patients choosing a surgeon for their cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures should always inquire about a doctor’s specific board certifications.
Myth Four: Plastic Surgery Will Leave Unsightly Scars
All surgery produces scars, but plastic surgeons, being specially trained to optimize the final aesthetic outcome of a surgery, are particularly adept at hiding and minimizing them. Breast augmentation scars, for example, can be elegantly hidden in the armpit, in the crease below the breast, or in the areola. The scars that result from a tummy tuck or thigh lift procedure are usually hidden beneath the bikini and underwear line, while facelift scars are often hidden along the hairline and within the contours of the ears. Less extensive, targeted procedures, like mini-facelifts or brow lifts, may in some cases even be performed endoscopically, minimizing scarring even further. Plastic surgeons can also often provide advice and post-surgical treatments to improve the appearance of scars that do occur.
Myth Five: Plastic Surgery is only for the Wealthy
Because cosmetic surgery is generally not covered by medical insurance, many fear that it is prohibitively expensive. However this simply is not the case. Thanks to advancements in technology, lower cost, non-invasive procedures like Botox®, facial fillers, or skin resurfacing procedures, have become an extremely effective way for people with average incomes to enhance their overall appearance and improve their lives. In addition, Atlanta Plastic Surgery provides patient financing through CareCreditSM or Alphaeon® which can be used on a wide array of cosmetic medical procedures ranging from minimally invasive anti-aging procedures to full facial plastic surgery.
If you have questions about any of the plastic surgery procedures our providers perform, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news and updates.