Plastic surgery can be an overwhelming decision. With so much information out there, it’s sometimes tough to discern fact from fiction, and find the best options for you. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about plastic surgery ‘“ and the real stories behind the myths.
Myth #1: The titles ‘plastic surgeon’ and ‘cosmetic surgeon’ are interchangeable.
While cosmetic surgery can be performed by a variety of licensed medical specialists ‘“ including dermatologists, ophthalmologists, and general surgeons ‘“ plastic surgeons must undergo an additional 5-8 years of residency training at an accredited hospital. Once they’ve completed this training and passed oral and written exams, plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to practice both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, along with non-surgical cosmetic procedures like Botox injections. In other words, all plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons, but all cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons.
Myth #2: Plastic surgery is all about image and beauty.
Plastic surgery can help build a stronger self-image, greater confidence, and a more positive outlook on life. Many people opt for surgical procedures not to drastically change their looks or prevent aging, but to better align their outer appearance with the youthful, vibrant way they feel inside. It’s also important to remember that plastic surgery can be reconstructive as well as aesthetic. For individuals who have suffered injury or live with physical defects, surgical correction can restore a higher quality of life. In a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast reconstruction patients who chose to undergo additional procedures to improve their appearance reported greater satisfaction with their self-image afterwards.
Myth #3: The results of plastic surgery are permanent.
Some plastic surgery procedures, like breast reductions or liposuction, create results that are long-lasting or permanent. Others, however, such as facelifts or breast lifts, will last for varying time spans, depending on changes in health or fitness, environmental influence, and the natural effects of aging. Before deciding to undergo plastic surgery, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of each procedure, and to develop realistic expectations about what they can achieve.
Myth #4: Only women pursue plastic surgery.
As the population ages and job markets get more competitive, men are becoming more interested than ever in plastic surgery. With the ASPS reporting over 1 million male procedures in 2012, rates for male plastic and cosmetic surgeries have jumped 106% since 1997. The top five procedures in 2012 included liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), gynecomastia (male breast reduction surgery), and otoplasty (ear surgery). Plus, just like women, many men opt for plastic surgery to improve self-esteem and confidence, and to restore a look that better reflects their inner vitality.
Myth #5: Cost is the biggest obstacle to getting plastic surgery.
Successful plastic surgery depends on many different factors, including your overall health and lifestyle, your reasons for pursuing the surgery, and whether or not you can coordinate the time and space for recovery. It’s important to research your options carefully before making any kind of commitment, and to learn as much as possible about the procedures you’re considering. Once you’ve made a decision, your plastic surgeon will discuss the procedure with you in more detail, going over the expected results of the procedure, the techniques available to you, and any potential risks. It’s important to be as open and candid as possible during your plastic surgery consultation, so that your surgeon can help determine the best and safest options for your cosmetic goals.
If you’re considering plastic surgery, set up a consultation with our board-certified surgeon at Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery! We provide state-of-the-art services in our AAAASF-accredited operating suite, and we’re happy to answer your questions and help determine the best options for your goals, health, and expectations.
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