Top 11 Misconceptions About Facial Plastic Surgery

Facial Plastic Surgery

Article At A Glance

  • Plastic surgery is suitable for everyone.
  • Plastic surgery results can last forever.
  • Facial plastic surgery can be costly.
  • Plastic surgery recovery is very long and painful.

A lot of false information gets passed around about plastic surgery, especially facial plastic surgery. Myths and misconceptions can prevent people from making the most of their options. It turns out that what you don’t know can hurt you. Read on to learn more about the myths of plastic surgery.

Facial Plastic surgery leaves no scars

Any facial plastic surgery that involves an incision will leave some form of a scar. But unlike the scars from an accident, plastic surgery scars are anticipated and surgeons make great efforts to minimize their appearance.

One method of minimizing the appearance of scars is through careful incisions. A plastic surgeon makes the smallest incision possible for the procedure. They will also use careful suturing methods that leave smaller, less visible scars.

Surgeons also use the natural lines and folds of the face and body to hide scars. The scars from a facelift might be concealed along the hairline or in the natural creases near the ears.

Meticulous care of scars after surgery also helps them fade and decreases visibility. It’s crucial to follow all instructions from your surgeon to reduce the visibility of scars as much as possible.

Additional Read: Scar Removal and How It Can Change Your Life

Plastic surgery works for everyone

It would be wonderful if plastic surgery was right for everyone, but that isn’t the case. Some people are not ideal candidates for plastic surgery and the risks outweigh the potential benefits. Determining whether a client is an ideal candidate depends on the procedure being considered.

Medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more can increase the risks associated with plastic surgery. Smoking, obesity, and certain medications can also make you a high-risk candidate for a plastic surgery procedure.

Plastic surgery may also not be right for you if you have a family history of keloid scars or if you have had any adverse reactions to anesthesia or other surgical procedures in the past.

Plastic surgery also only works if you have reasonable expectations. Your surgeon will discuss these issues with you before you decide to undergo surgery, making sure that you know what to expect.

Plastic surgery will last forever

There are many different types of facial plastic surgery, and how long the results last depends on both the procedure and the patient. But it’s safe to assume that no plastic surgery will remain the same as you age.

For example, a facelift can be expected to last about ten years before the skin begins to loosen or sag again. An upper eyelid lift has a similar lifetime, while a brow lift may only last five years.

For facial procedures, the one exception to the “nothing lasts forever” rule is the rhinoplasty surgery or nose job. While your facial features all change as you age, the general shape of your nose remains the same for your lifetime, whether it’s natural or surgically altered.

Non-surgical facial procedures such as dermabrasion, botulinum toxins, and fillers have even shorter lifespans, requiring regular repetition to maintain their effects.

Facial plastic surgery is very expensive

It’s a common misconception that all plastic surgery procedures are costly. In fact, the cost of facial plastic surgery varies greatly depending on the procedure. Some procedures, such as an upper eyelid lift or rhinoplasty, are done for medical reasons and may be completely or partially covered by insurance.

In general, the cost is higher the more invasive and extensive the procedure. Prices also fluctuate based on location areas with higher costs of living see higher prices for all services.

The price of plastic surgery is far from being inexpensive, but it is generally less than people expect. Before ruling out facial plastic surgery due to cost, be sure to check the prices of reputable surgeons in your area.

Plastic surgery is only for women

This particular myth has persisted despite the growing number of men opting for facial plastic surgery. While it may be true that in the past far more women than men had plastic surgery, it was never only for women.

Facial plastic surgery has the same benefits for men as it does for women. Enhanced self-esteem and confidence, a decrease in social anxiety, some studies even indicate an increase in professional success.

There are also some conditions, like the rhinophyma that can result from severe rosacea, that are far more common in men than women. Men also seek out surgical options for reversing hair loss in greater numbers than women.

As facial plastic surgery advances and the perception of procedures being exclusively for women decreases more men will seek treatment. Eventually, this misconception will fade as reality makes it obvious that plastic surgery is gender-neutral.

There is only one facial plastic procedure and it works for everyone

Plastic surgery is much more inclusive and can be customized depending on what individual patients need. Each patient is evaluated to determine how much skin should be tightened as well as how much of the facial structure should be rebuilt. Some patients may also benefit from procedures like brow lifts and eyelid correction surgeries that other patients may not need.

Plastic surgery is for older people

Here is another myth that will be put to rest as perception catches up to reality. There are many types of facial plastic surgery that have nothing to do with aging.

Procedures to reduce acne scarring and otoplasty (ear pinning) are popular and appropriate for young people.

People are opting to reduce the signs of aging earlier as more options become available. Fillers and injectables are non-invasive and low risk, making them attractive for those who don’t want to wait for fine lines and wrinkles to become noticeable.

There is no set age at which it is appropriate to begin considering facial plastic surgery. You and your surgeon will decide what’s right for you, not a myth.

Plastic surgery recovery is long and painful

Plastic surgery is still surgery. There is going to be some recovery time and some pain management after your procedure. But the time is likely less than you imagine, as is the pain.

Recovery time varies greatly depending on the procedure and the individual, but in general facelifts, brow, and eye lifts involve a week or two of downtime. Rhinoplasty recovery takes longer, but most patients can go back to work within two weeks.

Noninvasive procedures including skin resurfacing and injectables can be done with no downtime at all and minimal discomfort.

Pain management after plastic surgery depends on the procedure. Most surgical procedures involve prescription pain management for the first day or two, followed by over the counter pain relief as needed.

Your surgeon will tell you what to expect for your procedure and your circumstances, but plastic surgery need not be feared for extended recovery time or excessive pain.

Botox is a dangerous toxin

Botox is indeed made from the same toxin that causes botulism. Botulism is a type of food poisoning. The difference between Botox and botulism is in the method of delivery and the amount of toxin.

Botox injections use a tiny amount of botulinum toxin injected into facial muscles to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Botulism results from ingesting a large amount of the toxin orally.

Botox injections are used in cosmetic procedures and to treat certain medical conditions. Cosmetic Botox uses less toxin than medical applications and is less likely to have side effects.

Botox may be a toxin, but it is considered safe when administered by a qualified professional. Ask your doctor about the risks associated with Botox for further reassurance.

Fat grows back after liposuction

What happens after liposuction depends in large part on maintaining your weight. Liposuction does indeed remove fat cells permanently, and those cells will not grow back.

If you have had liposuction and maintain your weight, you will also maintain the sculpted appearance achieved through the procedure. Issues can develop if you gain a significant amount of weight.

The removed fat cells do not grow back, even with significant weight gain. The remaining fat cells grow larger and in some cases, the body will produce new fat cells if the weight gain is extreme.

In general, no, fat cells do not grow back after liposuction, but maintaining your weight post-procedure is important for retaining your liposuction results.

Plastic surgery involves the use of plastic materials

The term plastic surgery has nothing to do with plastic materials. Plastic in this case comes from a Greek word meaning “to mold”. Though that word-plastikos is similar to the word used for modern synthetic polymers, the two are not related.

Plastic surgery was being performed long before modern plastics were invented, as far back as 600 B.C when it was used to reconstruct noses in India. Using the term cosmetic surgery or reconstructive surgery is more accurate and less prone to misinterpretation.

Contact a Qualified Surgeon For More Information

The modern world involves an overload of information and misinformation. As plastic surgery becomes more common and the options grow, it’s important to separate fact from myth and clarify misconceptions.

Dr. Sidle is Chicago’s leading facial cosmetic surgeon and is board certified by two individual surgery boards (ABFPRS and ABOHNS). With over 15 years of experience, his humanistic approach to cosmetic surgery has made him one of the most respected and loved cosmetic surgeons in the Chicagoland area. He often sees patients from other states.

Dr. Sidle also continues to teach facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at Northwestern University and hosts lectures about his expertise nationwide. To book a consultation and learn more about what Dr. Sidle can do for you, click here.


About Douglas M. Sidle, MD, FACS

Dr. Sidle specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck. His services range from minimally invasive office procedures with little to no down time to major operations leading to dramatic improvements in appearance. Dr. Sidle is one of a select group of cosmetic surgeons who are “double boarded”. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.