Debunking 10 of the most common cosmetic surgery/treatment myths, with Dr. Allen Rezai from Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group
30 November 2022| Last updated on 6 December 2022
Given the ever-rising number of cosmetic procedures and their popularity, misconceptions are inevitable.
"During the 20+ years of my carrier I’ve heard many cosmetic surgery and treatment related myths form my patients," said Dr Allen Rezai, Senior Consultant Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeon.
"More during the past 10 years or so which I put down to the internet and the significant amount of misinformation that is out there," he continued.
Dr. Allen and his team at the Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group are dedicated to keeping patients well informed.
"We want you to have all the facts you need to feel confident about your decisions regarding the procedure of your choice. Here I share some of the most common myths with you, hoping that I won’t need to explain these for you if you come to see me," Dr. Allen added wittily.
The Fake Look
"A common myth that I hear repeatedly, especially from new patients, is that plastic surgery or cosmetic treatments may make them look fake or artificial," said Dr. Allen.
This can be very true in the wrong hands, however when performed by an experienced and qualified Plastic Surgeon, the plastic surgery or the cosmetic treatment will enhance a patient’s natural beauty and features by creating harmony, proportion and balance.
Finding the right practitioner is key...
One Stitch Facelift
There’s no such thing as "one stitch facelift. It is a commercial term used by some practitioners for promoting procedures such as silhouette lift (thread lift) or a mini-facelift which is only a skin-only facelift. It should be pointed out that in neither of these two procedures only One stitch is used!
"I am and have always been completely against commercialising cosmetic procedures. And simplifying a procedure, does exactly that. It makes people disregard the possible risks and complications associated with a procedure which may occur, even in the hands of the most skilled doctors. It also encourages unrealistic expectations in terms of recovery and sometimes outcome. Unfortunately, some people do actually believe that they could lift their face by only using one stitch - make sure you’re not one of them!" He said.
Surgical Results Without the Surgery
Although these days amazing results can be achieved with non-surgical procedures where the patient has the right indications, still nothing exceeds what can be achieved with surgical intervention when the time comes.
This is the term that is commonly used when referring to endoscopic surgery, such as endoscopic facelifts or browlifts.
"But it does not imply that there is no scar," Dr. Allen explained. "I understand how it can easily be misunderstood; however, it should be noted that our body heals itself by forming scar tissue after any cut."
If you never form a scar you would never heal. Some people’s scars heal and fade into fine lines, whereas others could develop raised or wide scarring. It’s all to do with your genetics and also how you care for your scar after surgery. The true art of plastic surgery is placing the scar in an area where it is hidden and as discreet as possible.
The Fat Can Come Back
Many people believe that after liposuction in one area, the fat will grow back in another area. This is far from the truth.
We build most of our fat cells throughout our childhood and into early adolescence and normally by our late teens to mid-twenties it is believed that we stop making new fat cells. Later in life, when we put on weight, we just increase the amount of fat stored in each fat cell. They simply balloon, sometimes to many thousands of times their original size.
The fat cells that are removed with Liposuction will NOT grow back. However, if you gain weight after Liposuction, the area you where you had liposuction grows slower as there are fewer fat cells there, while the non-treated areas enlarge faster as they have more fat cells present in them.
Stopping Cosmetic Injections Means You'll Age Faster
"I’ve heard many patients ask, 'Will my face age faster if I stop using botox and fillers?' No, it won’t - these products are anti-ageing and help to rejuvenate your face, but stopping them only returns you to your baseline which many people do forget how it was, after having anti-ageing injectables for many years, and when the results of the treatments wear off they assume that they are ageing faster," said Dr. Allen.
Some treatments such as Hyaluronic acid fillers, Profhilo and PRP do actually work on the person’s skin from within and stimulate natural collagen production and after repeated treatments, may actually slow down the rate of ageing, but sadly nothing ever stops ageing.
Breast Implants Must be Replaced After 10 Years
Many patients believe that breast implants come with a lifespan and must be replaced after 10 years.
The answer is there is no set rule for the timing of changing implants.
"The implants that I use, only need to be replaced if you develop an implant related complication or if you desire a change in size. If a patient has significant weight fluctuations and has multiple children following a breast augmentation, they may choose to have a breast implant revision to improve the shape of their breast but are under no obligation to do so if they are happy with their breasts," he said.
Dr. Allen added: "I offer my patients who have breast implants, complimentary annual follow ups to ensure they are not showing any signs of implant related complications and I refer them for routine breast ultrasound every 4-5years to check the integrity of their implants. Depending on when in life you have an implant surgery, you should know that at some point in future you may need further breast surgery for various reasons."
Breast Implants Equal Lift
"Another myth that I often hear is that implants will lift your breasts. This is not true, especially if your breasts need a real lift. With using high or ultra high implant profiles, the level of the nipples can be lifted by 0.5-1cm, and not more than this," he said.
"And if someone suggests having larger implants to compensate the need of a lift, I would run a mile as large implants overtime will tend to cause more ptosis in breast and within few months of your augmentation you will need a real lift," Dr. Allen noted.
Saying that, in some cases where there is no excess of skin and it’s mainly the nipples that require a small lift, and the patient is not ready for a real areola lift, then having a slightly larger implants, that would still look natural on you and fit your frame, could do the trick. However, you should understand all implications involved with this option before proceeding.
Cosmetic Surgery Results Last Forever
While many cosmetic surgery procedures are long lasting and can give you years, if not decades of personal satisfaction, many factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environment determine how long the results will last.
You can turn back the hands of time with plastic surgery - but I’m afraid the clock keeps on ticking and you can never stop natural ageing. Saying that, many times results of facial surgeries, may be prolonged by using suitable skin care, and having bespoke non-surgical treatments, your overall health and lifestyle is also important to maintain your natural good looks.
Plastic Surgeons are the Same as Cosmetic Surgeons
Many patients believe that plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons are the same, but this is not the case. It is important to differentiate between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon.
A key difference is the level of their education. Following completion of medical school, a board-certified Plastic Surgeon serves first as a surgical resident for at least 3 years where they undergo rigorous training in all aspects of surgery and then 3 years of focused plastic surgery training. The process can take 6 to 8 years or more and many further their training in fellowships including microsurgery, head and neck, hand and breast reconstruction.
Whereas a Cosmetic Surgeon might belong to any medical specialty. He/she could be a doctor of medicine, general surgeon, gynecologist, dermatologist etc. who has decided that they want to perform cosmetic surgery. The training can be anywhere from a one-year cosmetic surgery fellowship to a handful of short weekend courses on topics ranging from how to perform liposuction, eyelid surgery or place breast implants.
Patients are always advised to check the credentials and qualifications of their surgeon, and should check to see...
- Whether that surgeon is board-certified in plastic surgery, and...
- Whether the surgeon has privileges to perform cosmetic surgical procedures in a hospital setting.
Having hospital privileges subjects the plastic surgeon to peer review, ongoing credentialing, medical education, and other monitoring that doesn’t exist if the plastic surgeon operates in a non-hospital facility, such as his or her own private clinic.
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