Myth-Busting: Plastic Surgery Style

Date posted: May 10, 2010

A favorite show of mine is “Myth Busters” on the Discovery Channel.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s a show that involves a group of people who have been involved in special effects or related sciences testing popular myths, to see if they’re true or –well, myths.  

There are lots of myths associated with plastic surgery, but I doubt we’ll see any of them tested on Discovery.  So let’s address some of the more common ones here, and find out what the truth is.

MYTH 1: Cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery are the same thing.  The truth is, they are often performed by the same surgeon, but they are slightly different.  Both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery are forms of plastic surgery, but whereas cosmetic surgery is done to enhance one’s appearance, reconstructive surgery addresses the patient’s physical defects, caused by trauma, disease, infection, developmental abnormalities, tumors, or congenital defects.

MYTH 2: Only plastic surgeons are allowed to perform plastic surgery.  This is a tricky one, because it certainly is true that it’s smart to use a plastic surgeon to handle your cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.  After all, you wouldn’t necessarily want someone whose specialty is children diseases handle and treat  an adult’s cancer.  But legally, there is nothing preventing any kind of surgeon doing a plastic-surgery procedure.  There’s just good old fashioned common sense that says this probably isn’t the wisest thing to do.

MYTH 3: To get an accurate assessment of how much your plastic-surgery procedure will cost, just do a Google or Yahoo search.  This is far from true.  While the Internet can give you much information about what your procedure will entail, there are a host of variables that will determine your actual cost.  It will be affected by anesthesia, the individual surgeon, what her surgical facility fees are, whether there’s an overnight stay, and more.  For this reason, you’ll need to meet with your surgeon personally and find out in that initial consultation how much money it’s going to cost you.

MYTH 4: A plastic surgeon will feel offended if the patient asks her the wrong questions.  This is a dangerous myth to believe, because the quality of your surgery and post-op care could be affected by it.  Every reputable plastic surgeon I know welcomes questions.  In fact, it shows us that the patient knows this is a serious procedure and that she is taking it as such.  It also shows us that she is more likely to take our medical advice seriously.  So by all means, when you meet with your surgeon for the first time, have a list of questions–everything from her qualifications to costs to details of the procedure to recovery.

Don’t believe the myths.  Arm yourself with truth as you consider plastic surgery.

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