It's time to leave the scary stories from the 90s and 2000s behind. alt=”11 myths about plastic surgery” />
Salomea Svanadze Plastic surgeon with 9 years of experience.
1. For those who undergo surgery, the problem is not in the body, but in the head
Most likely, this myth arose due to observations of the changes of Michael Jackson or similar cases – they are really beyond the reasonable. Yes, there is a pathological dissatisfaction with one's own body – dysmorphophobia.
But for most, a moderate – and most often the only – intervention is enough to become happy. However, patients who come to see me sometimes refuse the operation altogether just because I sincerely tell them: “Your “before” result is someone’s “after” dream.”
However, there are also patients with the consequences of trauma, who have survived difficult births, accidents, with burn scars, congenital or acquired asymmetries. To condemn their decision to have plastic surgery in order to live a full life is like advising a hearing-impaired person to “accept himself” rather than buy a hearing aid.
2. Plastic surgery is only for women
Not only. Of course, women do much more surgeries, but gender stereotypes are gradually blurring, and men are also using the services of plastic surgeons more and more often. Among them are public figures, and those who harmonize their appearance “for themselves.”
Statistics from ISAPS – International Society of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery – shows ISAPS Global Statistics/International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, for example, that in 2017, liposuction was performed on men 237,201 times, and in 2020 – 246,672 times. The total number of surgical and non-surgical facial procedures men opted for increased by 89,000 in 2 years.
Men do surgeries for gynecomastia, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, face lifts, and cosmetic procedures. They just talk about it less.
3. After plastic surgery, everyone becomes the same
Looking at some stars, bloggers and other celebrities, it is easy to confuse them with each other. However, it is not aesthetic surgery and cosmetology as such that makes people the same, but unhealthy beauty standards come from Hollywood. What a brief, what a creative.
An adequate plastic surgeon will not stamp the same faces and figures on every second woman who comes with a photo of Jolie. Instead, the specialist will offer options that will make the appearance more harmonious, but will not erase the individuality.
For example, if a girl asks to make her a thin “doll” nose, like some singer, which will violate the proportions of her face with large features, the surgeon should ideally make every effort to persuade her to make more suitable changes. For this, computer simulation can be used: in a special program, the patient can “try on” a new nose or a new breast and make an informed decision.
Even advertising and fashion magazines are gradually coming to the understanding that beauty is diversity and above all health. Look for a doctor who shares this opinion.
4. Artificial breasts look and feel different from natural ones
If the “inch” inserts round implants the size of soccer balls, this will arouse suspicion. Both in appearance and in touch. But an adequate plastic surgeon selects implants according to the proportions and shapes of a person. If necessary, different for the left and right breasts – if by nature a woman has a noticeable asymmetry of the mammary glands. And in general, the trend turned 180 degrees: from “I get at least a C” to “I feel as natural and imperceptible as possible.”
The implants themselves, by the way, also do not feel like a bag with a liquid inside. It used to be, in the 70s and 80s of the XX century, they were made of thin smooth silicone and filled with liquid silicone gel or just a water-salt solution. Such implants wore out quickly, could move from the right place, and even sometimes gurgled when walking.
Modern options are already the fifth generation. Their shell consists of several durable and elastic polymer layers that prevent leakage of the contents and withstand loads up to 500 kg. They are filled with a gel of a special consistency, which makes them indistinguishable from the tissues of the mammary glands to the touch. The rehabilitation period passes – and you do not feel that these are implants.
5. After breast augmentation, active sports are contraindicated
It is necessary to limit physical activity only during the rehabilitation period: you will have to live without marathons for up to six months and not press the barbell – as your doctor says. But after recovery, no active exercises are prohibited – you can do everything that a woman with natural breasts will allow herself.
You just have to choose the right sports underwear with the appropriate support (its level is indicated on the label). Choose bras with wide straps, tight deep cups and preferably an adjustable closure.
6. First you need to give birth, then breastfeed
This is outdated information. If a woman is going to have children in the future, but wants to enlarge her breasts now, modern surgery will find a solution. If pregnancy is planned no earlier than a year after mammoplasty, then this is not contraindicated. Current technologies allow the operation to be performed practically without injuring the gland, and in the vast majority of cases, lactation is not disturbed.
The diagram below shows that the implant can be placed directly under the mammary gland or under the pectoral muscle. For girls planning to give birth, the first option is usually not used, so the glandular tissue and milk ducts are not affected.
The materials from which modern implants are made also exclude toxic, allergic or any other effects on the health of the child. This was confirmed by M. Schiff, C. S. Algert et al. The impact of cosmetic breast implants on breastfeeding: A systematic review and meta-analysis/International Breastfeeding Journal.
7. Plastic surgery to correct the figure is for the lazy
Those who are on a healthy lifestyle, sports and PP can be proud of themselves. But this path is not for everyone. And not because one is a hero and the other is a wimp.
If you only knew how often women come to me in despair: “Salomeya Nikolaevna, plastic surgery is my last hope. I've tried everything, but the stomach/hips/sides/knees do not lose weight! And they are not lying. They eat right, go to the pool, work out with a trainer and spend the weekend away from the couch.
But with the birth of children, and simply with age, under the influence of hormones, the figure can change significantly. Extra volumes appear in the area of the abdomen, sides, inner and outer sides of the thighs (“breeches”) – fat is deposited in “fat traps” even with a healthy weight. What to do? Reduce the percentage of fat in the body below the norm by fasting? And someone, on the contrary, according to their physiology, will never pump up the round insta-ass of their dreams.
And if all these people become happy with the help of adequate plastic surgery, why not correct the natural injustice.
8. Implants cause cancer
News broke in 2019 that an FDA study had found FDA updates analysis of medical device reports of breast implant illness and breast implant‑associated lymphoma/U.S. Food and Drug Administration cases of a rare malignant tumor – large cell lymphoma (a cancer that affects cells of the immune system) – in patients with implants.
However, only 573 cases have been recorded, while the number of women with breast implants reachesFDA update on the safety of silicone gel‑filled breast implants/US Food and Drug Administration from 5 to 10 million. These are hundredths of a percent of the probability of a tumor. Postoperative complications happen more often.
Of course, even about this minimum level of risk, I warn patients. Before the operation, they must undergo an examination, and after that, regular examinations by the surgeon and mammologist are strongly recommended.
9. The implant can burst, and this will cause terrible consequences
Firstly, it can withstand pressure up to 500 kg. After the rehabilitation period, you can safely go in for sports, scuba diving, go to the sauna and fly in an airplane: the implants neither in the chest nor in the buttocks will not burst or melt.
However, over time, on average after 7–15 years, the shell of the materials does wear out, which can lead to its damage. Then it is necessary to perform corrective surgery and replace the implant. But even if damaged, its contents will not leak out and harm you.
Similar horror stories are associated with the implants of past generations. Modern ones are filled with a dense and viscous gel that retains its shape even without a shell.
10. After the operation, scars will remain for life
Some types of interventions can be performed without external incisions at all – for example, closed rhinoplasty. Sometimes minimally invasive endoscopic techniques can be used. In other cases, the surgeon makes an incision in the most inconspicuous places: behind the ears, in the armpit, at the very bottom of the abdomen.
In addition, with proper care after the operation, the use of special plasters and ointments, the scar becomes very thin, loses color and after a year will look almost imperceptible – like a stretch mark on the skin as thick as a thread. And if the scar is located around the areola, you will hardly notice it at all after 6 months.
It is worth noting that it is extremely rare – due to the characteristics of the body or violation of the rules of rehabilitation – the scar can become hypertrophied. With this, hardware cosmetology helps, or in extreme cases, an additional operation is prescribed under local anesthesia to excise the scar.
11. After a facelift, the face will sag even more, so you will have to be operated on all your life
Probably, this myth was also influenced by examples of unsuccessful operations of stars in the mid-2000s, when Vera Alentova or Mickey Rourke were forced to resort to new interventions in the hope of correcting previous failures of surgeons. But these are rather exceptions.
Anti-aging plastic does not worsen the elasticity of the skin and does not cause “addiction” in the body. At the same time, lifting or blepharoplasty can make the patient visually younger by 10–15 years. Perhaps some people are so impressed by this that they cannot afford to return to wrinkles over time and therefore go for new operations? But to do braces regularly, of course, is not necessary. This is just a way to prolong youth, not turn back the clock.
If you really need to change something in your body to become happier, modern plastic surgery offers many effective solutions. And over time, they become safer, more technologically advanced and more natural.
However, before deciding to take radical steps, be sure to consult a trusted doctor, ask for the opinions of various specialists, weigh all the risks. And always remember: real beauty is not in accordance with fickle fashion standards, but in your personality. We are all special!