Myth vs. Reality
Are cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery one and the same? Do women have plastic surgery more often than men? Will fat return after liposuction? Test your beauty savvy.
Below are some common myths and facts about cosmetic surgery.
- Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are one and the same.
Myth. The terms "plastic surgery" and "cosmetic surgery" are not interchangeable. Confusion about the terms has led to public misconceptions about the two specialties. Cosmetic surgery is the surgery of appearance. It is elective and focuses on the aesthetics of beauty.
- Cosmetic surgeons are qualified to conduct cosmetic surgery.
Fact. Cosmetic surgeons are dedicated to the art of cosmetic surgery. Their strong knowledge base, high level of training and practical experience make them among the most qualified physicians to perform cosmetic procedures. In fact, Botox®, laser technology and tumescent liposuction (widely regarded as the best type of liposuction) were developed by ophthalmologists and dermatologists.
- Cosmetic procedures such as Botox®, microdermabrasion and liposuction are increasingly popular among men.
Fact. More and more men are seeking cosmetic surgery. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery's 2005 Procedural survey the top five most popular procedures among men are Botox, hair transplantation/restoration, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and liposuction, in that order. Our members report that they continue to see more and more men visit their offices. And the recent Consumer Survey conducted by the AACS shows that 12% of men plan to have cosmetic surgery at some point in the future.
- A majority of men believe that personal appearance affects their ability to succeed professionally or get promoted.
Fact. According to the recent Consumer Survey conducted by the AACS, 83 percent of men believe that personal appearance plays a role in their professional success and advancement.
- Breast augmentation will fix droopy breasts.
Myth. Breast augmentation will not lift droopy breasts. This is best addressed by having a breast lift.
- It's safe to breast feed if you have breast implants.
Fact. According to the Mayo Clinic, breast-feeding with implants is safe. While your breast milk could absorb some of the silicone from breast implants the amount is not considered harmful to your baby. Because breast milk is the best thing you can feed your baby, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) encourages women with breast implants to breast-feed if they're able to do so.
- Breast implants increase your risk of getting breast cancer.
Myth. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) found evidence that breast implants do not cause breast cancer or the recurrence of breast cancer. However, it's still essential to undergo routine screening for breast cancer — breast self exams, mammograms and clinical breast exams — just as you would if you didn't have breast implants.
- Liposuction is an easy way to lose weight.
Myth. Your cosmetic surgeon will ask you to lose as much weight as you can first. The results will be better if you are as healthy as possible prior to surgery.
- Liposuction removes cellulite.
Myth. Because tight bands of fibrous tissue cause cellulite, extracting the fat layer that resides just under the skin may actually worsen the dimpled look. Your cosmetic surgeon will be able to discuss expected results from liposuction and whether the procedure makes sense for you.
- Fat comes back after liposuction.
Myth. Fat does not come back after liposuction. At birth, the body stops producing fat cells, but they do get bigger or smaller depending on your weight. Liposuction reduces the amount of fat cells in targeted areas. Once the fat cells are removed they're gone forever.
- Tumescent liposuction (widely regarded as the best type of liposuction) was developed by a cosmetic surgeon.
Fact. Tumescent liposuction was developed by a cosmetic surgeon — in this case, a dermatologist.
- Botox® can cause droopy eyelids.
Myth. If your Botox® treatment is administered properly, the risk of suffering from droopy eyelids is lower than 2%. As with any potential side effect, the condition is temporary and should resolve itself within a few weeks.
- Botox® will leave you expressionless by freezing your facial muscles.
Myth. There is a balance between the muscles of the face. If too much Botox® is injected, one can easily lose the action of muscles of expression. However, if this muscular balance is maintained, by only injecting small doses into specific muscles, one can have a natural softening of unwanted lines and wrinkles without compromising facial expressions. Patients interested in this procedure should select a physician based on his or her training, education, experience and demonstrated practice history.
- Botox® was developed by a cosmetic surgeon.
Fact. Botox® was developed by a cosmetic surgeon — in this case, an ophthalmologist.