There’s no shortage of information available online today. And while many websites about plastic surgery are helpful, there’s unfortunately plenty of misleading information out there as well.
My advice is to avoid the gossip gleaned from magazines and forums and instead, only take your information from expert medical professionals who have relevant qualifications and many years of experience.
As a plastic surgeon, I get a lot of questions from people who are confused by the conflicting information they find and who want to separate fact from fiction. Here are the top five myths I keep coming across:
1. You won’t be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation/reduction
You almost certainly will be able to breastfeed after a breast augmentation or reduction. Almost all types of procedure are compatible with breastfeeding.
While most mothers who have had surgery on their breasts will have no problem with milk supply, some may find that it’s reduced, particularly if their nipples have become less sensitive. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are several natural ways that milk production can be stimulated, which means that even women who have less sensitive nipples can still have a successful breastfeeding experience.
2. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are the same thing
Cosmetic surgery refers to an elective procedure, whereby appearance and body shape are enhanced via surgical and medical techniques. Currently, any doctor with a medical degree may call themselves a cosmetic surgeon.
Plastic surgery, on the other hand, includes the reconstruction of facial or body disfigurement caused by burns, disease, birth defects and other trauma in addition to cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgeons are recognised as more specialized than cosmetic surgeons since they require a minimum of seven years of additional training after completing their medical degree.
3. Every procedure requires general anesthetic
Not every plastic or cosmetic surgery requires a general anesthetic. Most skincare procedures including fillers and microdermabrasion are done either without any anesthetic or with a light local anesthetic to numb the area. However, with more extensive procedures like breast surgery, liposuction, tummy tucks or facelifts, patients will require a general anesthetic. In terms of patient safety and comfort, this is definitely the best option – particularly for procedures that take several hours.
4. Liposuction can help you lose weight
Liposuction is designed to improve body contour and appearance by permanently removing excess fatty deposits – particularly around the thighs, buttocks and hips. If combined with a healthy diet and exercise, liposuction can definitely make a huge difference to body shape and self-esteem but it should never be considered a weight loss option.
5. Cosmetic surgery won’t leave scars
It’s impossible to perform surgery without leaving a scar. No surgeon can guarantee this, and if they do they’re best avoided! However, the more skilled the surgeon the better the results, as an experienced surgeon – particularly one with a plastic surgery background – will be expert at knowing where to perform the incision so it is least obvious.
If you’re considering plastic surgery, my advice is to do your research and make sure you have all the facts before you make your decision. And most importantly, speak to a qualified plastic surgeon about any questions you might have – they’re the best resource you’ll find.