When it comes to plastic surgery, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Thanks to numerous reality TV stars who have had work done, as well as a skewed focus in the media on plastic surgery horror stories, we can’t be blamed for believing every crazy thing we’ve ever heard or read about going under the knife.
When a good friend confided in me that she wanted to take her natural A-cup breasts to a D-cup, I thought, “You’re tiny. You’re going to look cartoonish–and the back pain!” My faith in plastic surgery–and humanity–was restored, however, after a top NYC surgeon advised her to get implants that were no larger than a large B-cup. She looks fantastic–and natural. More importantly, she has more self-confidence.
Whether you hate the idea of plastic surgery because you feel we should accept our bodies in their natural state or plan to get a face lift the second you spot more than five wrinkles, it helps to separate facts from fiction. Dr. Elie Levine, founder of Plastic Surgery & Dermatology NYC sets the record straight with 7 plastic surgery myths.
Myth #1: A tummy tuck is the only way to fix loose skin.
Many women, especially those who have just had babies become easily frustrated when they find all of the planks in the world aren’t helping them attack the loose skin on their abdomens. “You cannot tighten loose skin at the gym,” Levine says. “Exercise can build muscle, but only surgery will help if the skin is loose.”
Lest you think an invasive tummy tuck is your only option if you have loose skin around your abdomen, Levine says there are several options out there, each of which targets varying degrees of loose skin. From non-invasive lasers that slowly build collagen to midi tummy tucks and abdominoplasty, a credible plastic surgeon will work with you and your body type and issue to ensure you proceed with a treatment that will give you the best results and meet your expectations.
Myth #2: If you have liposuction, your fat will eventually come back in the same place anyway.
Not true, Levine says. If you take care of your health and keep weight off, that won’t likely happen–and, even if you do gain weight, there’s no guarantee you’ll gain in the same place. “The fat will only return if you gain weight again, and it will not likely come back where you had the liposuction but in a different area.”
Myth #3: A face lift looks unnatural and only lasts 5-10 years.
If the first thought that jumps into your head when you think “face lift” is “unnatural, pulled-back mask face,” you’ve been wrongly influenced by women whose surgeons tried to make them look like different people. An actual face lift shouldn’t come at the skin level, Levine says, but at the foundation levels. “The objective isn’t to create something that isn’t there,” Levine says, adding that many people forget one important aspect of a face lift is to also add volume that is lost throughout the years, which can be accomplished by transferring fat to the face from areas such as the waistline and abdomen.
As far as the myth that a face lift has to be redone every few years? “A face lift lasts forever but the face continues to age. You may want another face lift in 10 years as your face continues to age, but you will always look younger than if you didn’t have the face lift at all.”
Myth #4: Larger breast implants look less natural than smaller implants.
As in the case of my friend, that all depends on your personal body frame, height and weight. “Implants should be appropriately sized to a person’s body frame. Larger implants can look just as natural if the person’s body frame is proportioned for the larger size.”
Myth #5: Breast implants have to be replaced every 10 years.
“Fewer than 10 percent of breast implants will leak within 10 years. While there are other factors such as gravity, childbirth, hardness (contracture), or other changes in the appearance which could have a patient request additional surgery, the popular saying is ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.'”
Myth #6: Fillers and Botox are a replacement for a facelift.
Unfortunately, fillers and all that good stuff can only do so much for our skin. “As we age, we generally develop skin laxity, loss of volume, and wrinkles. Fillers and Botox address loss of volume and some wrinkles, but they do not help significant laxity. Usually, when I do a facelift, I also perform a fat transfer because lifting alone is not enough without adding volume to rejuvenate the face.”
Myth #7: Eyelid surgery is the same as getting a brow lift.
“One of the most unnecessary and overused procedures in plastic surgery is the blepharoplasty, also known as eye lid surgery. If a woman has difficulty applying makeup to her upper eyelid, it could be due to excess skin in the eyelid or due to brow dropping (due to gravity, genetics, or aging). This issue is often due to the brow dropping, and the solution is then an endoscopic brow lift and not a blepharoplasty.”
Myth #8: Plastic surgery is only for celebrities and the super rich.
Plastic surgery does not have to cost a small fortune, says Levine. “Procedures like lasers to treat stretch marks and colored spots can be as low as $550. Body contouring (including lipo, tummy tuck) can be around $3,000 and breast work usually starts around $10,000.
For more beauty tips, check out 8 Sleep mistakes that are ruining your skin and hair and Once and for all, here’s the correct order to apply hair products.