10 Misconceptions About Plastic Surgery

OCTOBER 20, 2013
Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS

#1. Women shouldn’t get plastic surgery until they’re at least 60 years old

Waiting until a woman is postmenopausal can dramatically — and negatively — change the nature of the surgical result. Too often, older patients wind up with “overdone” looks where the skin needs to be pulled extremely tight in order to achieve contour improvements that could have been maintained more easily if the procedure had been performed at a younger age. Undertaking less-drastic procedures in perimenopause allows results to be maintained longer and, in many circumstances, to appear more natural and in line with a woman’s overall appearance.

#2. Plastic surgery is only for the rich

Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) show that the vast majority of patients undergoing plastic surgery are middle-class individuals who use their own disposable income. In fact, the median income for patients who undergo plastic surgery is approximately $80,000. Many plastic surgeons offer a variety of flexible financing options. Additionally, non-surgical procedures such as the injection of Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) and the use of fillers like Juvéderm (cross-linked hyaluronic acid) is surprisingly cost-effective; in many cases, those procedures cost little more than what a woman can expect to pay for her hair coloring or salon treatment.
#3. Plastic surgery is only for women

Men currently represent 15 percent of the total number of patients undergoing cosmetic surgery — a number that has been steadily increasing over the past decade. That statistic isn’t surprising, because men need to look their best in a competitive job market. As a result, more men entering their 40s and 50s are seeking access to non-surgical procedures like the use of Botox, neurotoxin, or fillers to rejuvenate their appearance. Men are also growing more comfortable with other surgical procedures, including liposuction to address “love handles,” rhinoplasty, and gynecomastia, which is the treatment of enlarged congenital breasts.
#4. Plastic surgery is only for the vain

Many patient satisfaction surveys and quality of life outcome studies have shown that patients enjoy genuine improvements in body image and a greater satisfaction with their position in life after cosmetic surgery. It’s a cliché, but I often say that plastic surgery won’t add years to your life, but it can add life to your years. Quality of life, not vanity, is the main decision-making factor for the vast majority of plastic surgery patients.

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