Time Magazine knows the aesthetic industry is exploding; that’s why they did a cover story on it in June. And then the ISAPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) released its figures in July for 2014 showing that over 20 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures were performed last year. That’s more than the population of Australia!
But there are still misperceptions and myths out there about cosmetic surgery. Even the term plastic surgery is misunderstood. Many people assume the word “plastic” in plastic surgery connotes something artificial, since plastic itself is non-natural. The reality is that plastic in this context comes from the Greek word meaning “to mold.”
Dr. Kirwan wants all of his patients to be educated about cosmetic procedures. So, let’s take a few of those misperceptions and address them.
Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are the same thing
A board-certified plastic surgeon has completed five years in surgical training at an accredited hospital, at least two years focusing on plastic surgery. Other physicians may have some training in plastic surgery to do cosmetic procedures in certain areas. But the level of training is not the same. This distinction can be very important in your outcomes from a surgical procedure.
Plastic surgery doesn’t leave scars
Come on, this isn’t magic! Any time you’re making an incision into the skin, the result of the incision is a scar. But talented plastics surgeons such as Dr. Kirwin are able to minimize and hide the scars to make them as inconspicuous as possible.
Breast augmentation is a one-time event
Like most things, breast implants have a lifespan, usually around 10 to 15 years. Plus, despite having augmentation, the aging process continues, meaning that a woman’s breasts will still droop with age. So, if a woman has a breast augmentation in her late 30s or early 40s, she will likely need to have at least one implant replacement down the road, and that procedure could be combined with a breast lift.
Fat can’t reappear in other areas after liposuction
Not true. It is true that fat removed by liposuction is permanently gone from that area. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have fat show up in other areas IF you put on a bunch of weight.
Liposuction can be thought of as a weight loss procedure
People believe this, but it is a dangerous misperception thinking that you can simply suction away excess fat to lose weight. Liposuction should only be performed when the patient is within 10% of his or her ideal weight. Liposuction is meant to remove pockets of fat that don’t respond to exercise or diet changes. Things like love handles. It is not a weight loss procedure.
You can’t go out in the sun after surgery
Not true. You should limit your sun exposure because it can delay your healing to a degree and it can make your scars redden. But, as long as you wear sunscreen, you don’t have to become a shut-in!
If you have questions about a certain procedure, we encourage you to ask us about it. Dr. Kirwan believes in educating his patients about cosmetic procedures as much as possible. Call one of our offices in Norwalk, New York, or London with your questions, or to make an appointment for a consultation.