For decades there have been myths surrounding the world of plastic surgery. While some of those myths have been dispelled, there are some people who are still doubtful largely as a result of lingering misinformation.

Plastic surgery has a long history. The use of the word “plastic” meaning malleable was first applied to the procedure in 1839, long before the invention of the plastic materials made from petroleum which we commonly refer to as plastic today. It is easy to understand how these misperceptions began and took root over the decades. I am sharing what I consider the top 5 Plastic Surgery myths in hopes of further dispelling any doubt associated with this profession.

Myth #5 Beauty and Vanity are the Only Reasons to Get Plastic Surgery

It’s no wonder this myth is still alive and well. With our obsession with youth and specific beauty trends, breast augmentation, Botox and facelifts get a tremendous amount of press coverage. However, from its earliest days plastic surgery has been primarily created and evolved for correcting injuries, birth defects, injuries and is very much used as a corrective measure in post-cancer breast reconstruction, post weight-loss body transformations and work related injuries.

Myth #4 Only Rich and Famous People Get Plastic Surgery

Only 1% of the population is considered “rich and famous.” If that were the entire population we plastic surgeons had to work with, there would not be much call for an entire field of medicine devoted to this specialty. The bulk of plastic surgery patients are average men and women who simply want to enhance their overall appearance while improving the self-esteem and confidence.

Myth #3 Only Women Get Plastic Surgery

Traditionally women have been the dominant patients in plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. However men have benefitted from the skill of plastic surgeons for injuries and in recent years to relieve the embarrassment of Gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts).  Also, with the invention of less invasive treatments such as Botox, laser and dermal fillers, men are enjoying the rejuvenated and youthful appearance of these procedures. Liposuction is also one of the procedures that has become appealing to and popular with men. And, with the competition in the job market, more men are seeking plastic surgery to maintain their competitive advantage.

Myth #2 Plastic Surgery Leaves No Scars and Lasts Forever

For starters, we have all come to know that nothing lasts forever. Plastic surgery can provide years of personal satisfaction, and can certainly make it appear as though the hands of time have been turned back. But time marches on. Great skin care, non-invasive office procedures, and attention to overall health all contribute to helping maintain the youthful effects of plastic surgery. Regarding scarring, while a well-trained plastic surgeon can make scars look better, more refined and smaller, all types of plastic surgery will generally cause some type of at least minimal scar formation. We know and recommend the best ways to minimize scarring.

Myth #1 Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery are the same.

All plastic surgeons do not have the same training. Being board certified in plastic surgery means that a physician has undergone years of specific training related to all the nuances of cosmetic and plastic surgery.

Some doctors trained in, and board certified in other specialties such as gynecology or family medicine, have ventured into cosmetic surgery causing what is known as  “white coat confusion.” As a result, more and more patients are having cosmetic procedures performed by physicians who are not board certified in plastic surgery, often in non-accredited facilities that are ill-equipped to handle complications.

Myths are very often difficult to dismantle. However, doctors who are not trained to perform plastic surgery are creating new worries for patients and are making way for more misperceptions. Patients choosing a surgeon for their cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures should always inquire about a doctor’s specific board certifications and if he or she is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and/or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic S

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