7 Common Plastic Surgery Myths You Should Stop Believing

There’s often a stigma attached to plastic surgery that stems from preconceived notions. These views often lead to the belief that it promotes vanity and perfectionism and is reserved for the wealthy. 

Although far from the truth, these are only a few of many plastic surgery myths. They perpetuate the stereotypes associated with this surgical specialty and often overshadow the fact that some reconstructive procedures, such as breast reconstruction and cleft lip and palate repair, can positively impact patients’ lives.This article examines the top seven myths about plastic surgery and separates fact from fiction. Read on to learn more.

Top 7 Myths About Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is the only surgical specialty not confined to a single organ system. The procedures involved often fall into two categories — reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.

Reconstructive surgery corrects issues due to congenital disabilities or caused by injury or illness. Cosmetic surgery helps to improve appearance. Knowing these basic facts about plastic surgery may be the best place to start when debunking well-known myths. 

Here are a few other facts behind the most common plastic surgery myths that may surprise you.

1. Plastic Surgery is Only for Women

male plastic surgery patient

A higher proportion of women, compared to men, opt for cosmetic surgery. However, an increasing number of men are turning to these procedures, driven by the belief that a youthful appearance can influence career advancement. Among the more sought-after surgeries for men is gynecomastia reduction, a procedure designed to reduce the size of enlarged breasts in men. Additionally, men frequently choose facial surgeries such as facelifts, rhinoplasty, and eyelid lifts.

Despite this, the majority of men tend to prefer non-invasive procedures. These options are less noticeable and typically require minimal recovery time, making them a convenient choice for those who wish to avoid significant interruptions to their daily schedules.

2. Plastic Surgery Means Fake-Looking Results

older male plastic surgery patient

Many popular plastic surgery shows tend to feature extreme cases, which undoubtedly contributes to maintaining high viewer ratings. These cases often involve dramatic alterations or excessive enhancements, which are, in fact, atypical of standard cosmetic surgery procedures. Such portrayals have unfortunately fostered a widespread misconception that cosmetic surgery usually results in an unnatural appearance.

Contrary to this belief, plastic surgeons are experts in their field, combining their extensive training and skill with innovative techniques to achieve outcomes that appear more natural and harmonious. Their work is less about dramatic transformations and more focused on enhancing and refining a patient’s appearance in a subtle, yet impactful way. This approach underscores the artistic and precise nature of their profession, aiming to produce results that align closely with the realistic expectations and desires of their patients.

3. Plastic Surgery is Only for the Wealthy

Plastic surgery encompasses a wide range of procedures, with costs varying significantly based on the complexity and extent of the surgery. Major surgical operations like tummy tucks and breast reductions can carry a price tag in the thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, numerous cosmetic treatments are much more budget-friendly. For instance, microdermabrasion, a popular skin rejuvenation procedure, typically costs just over $100. Other procedures like laser hair removal, dermal fillers, and Botox injections are also relatively affordable, usually amounting to a few hundred dollars.

Financial accessibility is an important aspect of plastic surgery. Recognizing this, many clinics and surgeons now offer various financing options, including flexible payment plans. These options make it easier for individuals to manage the expenses of more costly surgeries, making these procedures increasingly accessible to a broader audience.

Additionally, the advent of cosmetic insurance marks a significant shift in the industry. This type of insurance covers treatments traditionally considered elective and not covered under standard health insurance plans. This development further enhances the accessibility of cosmetic procedures, allowing more people to avail themselves of these services without the burden of prohibitive costs.

4. Plastic Surgery is Always Cosmetic

cosmetic plastic surgery

When discussing facts about cosmetic surgery, it’s notable that approximately 1.5 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed last year. In addition, there were an astounding 23.7 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. These high numbers contribute to the common perception that all plastic surgery is purely cosmetic.

However, it’s essential to recognize that over one million reconstructive procedures were also carried out during the same timeframe. These procedures, which included tumor removal, scar revision, hand surgery, breast reconstruction, and maxillofacial surgery, serve a dual purpose. While they can enhance one’s appearance, their primary function is to restore or improve the functionality of body parts. Therefore, unlike purely aesthetic cosmetic surgery, these procedures are not considered cosmetic in nature. This distinction is crucial in understanding the entire scope and intent of plastic and reconstructive surgery practices.

5. Botox and Fillers are Plastic Surgery

botox filler

You may be wondering, “Is Botox considered plastic surgery?” According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic plastic surgery enhances and reshapes structures of the body to improve appearance and confidence. It includes surgical and non-surgical procedures. Botox and fillers are non-surgical skin rejuvenation procedures. Both are listed as minimally invasive types of cosmetic plastic surgery on the Society’s website. Considering these procedures as a type of surgery is one of the myths about cosmetic surgery that continues to perplex many. However, it might be easier to understand when you consider the definition of surgery. It involves any instrumental technique that physically penetrates the body to investigate or treat conditions or improve appearance.

6. Plastic Surgery Effects Last Forever

Before after upper eyelid surgery

Another frequently asked question regarding plastic surgery is, “Does plastic surgery last forever?” The durability of plastic surgery results varies and depends on several factors. While many procedures can offer long-lasting effects, the body’s natural aging process inevitably influences their longevity. For instance, lifestyle choices significantly impact the enduring nature of these results.

Excessive sun exposure, for example, can lead to premature aging of the skin, affecting the outcomes of skin-related surgeries. Similarly, smoking accelerates the aging process of the skin, potentially diminishing the lasting effects of the procedure. The overall health of an individual also plays a crucial role in both the healing process post-surgery and the maintenance of the surgery’s results.

Moreover, the age at which one undergoes a plastic surgery procedure can influence its effectiveness and duration. As the body continues to age, certain changes might necessitate repeat treatments or touch-ups to maintain the desired appearance.

However, it’s important to note that some procedures can have long-lasting results with proper care and maintenance. For example, when performed well, double eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can last a lifetime. This highlights the importance of both the quality of the surgical procedure and the post-surgery care in determining the longevity of plastic surgery results.

7. Recovery from Plastic Surgery is Extremely Long and Painful

Plastic Surgery Recovery Stage

Among the most crucial plastic surgery facts to consider for many individuals is the recovery time and associated pain following a procedure. Thanks to significant medical advancements, the duration of recovery and the level of discomfort experienced have been substantially reduced. 

While it’s normal to encounter some initial discomfort after most plastic surgery procedures, effective pain management can be achieved through prescribed medications. The specific recovery time can vary depending on the nature of the procedure. Still, many patients find they can return to work and resume their normal activities within a few days. This improved recovery process has made plastic surgery a more viable option for those concerned about postoperative downtime and pain.

Facts About Plastic Surgery

In discussing facts about plastic surgery, it’s interesting to note that the United States leads globally in the number of plastic surgeries performed. Among these procedures, breast augmentation ranks as the most popular. However, it’s important to understand that most health insurance plans typically do not cover cosmetic surgeries like breast augmentation. On the other hand, procedures that are deemed medically justifiable, such as breast implant removal, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), are often covered by health insurance. This distinction underscores the difference in insurance coverage based on the nature and purpose of the plastic surgery procedure.

Fun Facts About Plastic Surgery

Despite the term, plastic surgery does not involve the use of plastic. It comes from the Greek word plastikos, meaning to give form or mold, which is what most procedures do. 

Another fun fact? The first procedure, a rhinoplasty, took place in 600 B.C. Ironically, it’s also one of the most complex plastic surgery procedures.

Additionally, there are over 7,500 active board-certified plastic surgeons in the US. These surgeons have years of specific training in both cosmetic and plastic surgery. 

Discover the Wave Difference 

Navigating the realm of plastic surgery can often be clouded by prevalent myths and misconceptions. However, as we continue to distinguish fact from fiction, plastic surgery is increasingly being recognized as a legitimate means of enhancing one’s appearance and managing the aging process. Moreover, reconstructive surgery plays a pivotal role in significantly improving the quality of life for many individuals. The success of these procedures, whether cosmetic or reconstructive, hinges on the expertise and experience of skilled plastic surgeons.

At Wave Plastic Surgery, we embody this expertise. Our team of surgeons is equipped with advanced skills and cutting-edge techniques, ensuring that we offer only the highest quality of treatment. Our range of services, including facelift surgery and double eyelid surgery, is tailored to meet your individual needs, helping you achieve a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. 

We invite you to take the next step in your journey towards self-enhancement by scheduling a consultation with us. Embrace the opportunity to discover a renewed version of yourself with Wave Plastic Surgery.

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

Dr. Lee received his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology with highest honors from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He went on to earn his M.D. with highest honors from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, followed by his MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. He completed his surgical internship at the University of California at San Francisco. Going on to train in otolaryngology/head & neck surgery at Duke University Medical Center, working closely with the plastic surgeons during his head and neck residency inspired him to continue training in plastic and reconstructive surgery. After this specialized training, Dr. Lee went on to become Board Certified in Plastic Surgery.

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With a wide range of breast, body, and face procedures, our goal at Wave Plastic Surgery is to allow for all of our patients to achieve their ideal appearance, no matter their age or ethnicity. Our doctors all have extensive experience working with patients of all different backgrounds and have developed expertise in Asian plastic surgery procedures such as eyelid and nose surgery. We work with all sorts of men and women—both local to the Los Angeles area and from far out of town—to help find the right procedure to help them reach their goals.

Wave Plastic Surgery offers an inclusive menu of non-surgical treatment options that will cover all types of anti-aging and skin concerns from wrinkles, sagging skin, hair loss, women’s health, poor skin texture, large pores, skin discoloration, Rosacea, acne, scars, volume loss, and aging hands, neck and chest.