10 Common Myths Plastic Surgeons Wish Would Go Away Forever in 2020

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Thanks to the internet, most patients come to see a doctor with a basic knowledge of what a procedure entails, but there is a lot of misinformation out there too. Every day that a surgeon is educating and guiding a patient, he or she is also spending time dispelling myths that they hear day in and day out from one patient to another. Here, top plastic surgeons share the ones that they wish they’d never have to hear again.

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Surgical Results Without the Surgery
“I wish people would stop believing that the equivalent of a surgical result can be achieved without surgery. We have great nonsurgical options these days, but, at the end of the day, nothing beats what can be achieved with surgical intervention.” —New York plastic surgeon B. Aviva Preminger, MD

Scarless Surgery
“If you’re operated on by a plastic surgeon then there would be no scar. This just isn’t true. The body heals itself by forming scar tissue. If you never form a scar you would never heal. The true art of plastic surgery is placing the scar in an area where it is as inconspicuous as possible.” —Highland Park, IL, plastic surgeon Steven Bloch, MD

The Fake Look
“A common myth that we hear repeated to us every day from patients is that plastic surgery may make them look fake or artificial. I believe patients base this on that small minority of celebrities that appear ‘overdone’. In fact, the vast majority of patients having plastic surgery, including celebrities, look better in a very natural way. In other words, they look good but show no signs of having surgery at all. I would like to emphasize that plastic surgery, especially facial rejuvenation, will enhance a patient’s natural beauty and is one of the best investments one can make.” —Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty, MD

Stopping Injections Means You’ll Age Faster
“I hear, ‘When I stop using Botox and filler, will my face age more rapidly?’ quite frequently. These products do help with aging, but stopping them only returns you to your baseline…which is easy to forget.” —Palo Alto, CA plastic surgeon David Boudreault, MD

Your Implants Have a Shelf Life
“I hope the plastic surgery myth that breast implants must be replaced every 10 years goes away and that patients stop believing implants have a lifespan. Implants only need to be replaced if an issue occurs or if the patient desires a change in size. I recommend implant patients come in for an annual follow up to ensure they are not showing any concerning signs, and most of my patients who have had augmentations never replace them. There is a risk every time you undergo surgery, so as the saying goes, "if it ain't broke!" —Newtown Centre, MA, plastic surgeon Joseph Russo, MD

“I continue to get asked year in and year out from patients seeking breast augmentation if implants must be changed out every decade. The answer is there is no set rule for timing of changing implants. If a patient has significant weight fluctuations and has multiple children over a decade, they may want to revise the chest, but are under no obligation to do so in a set timeframe. I have many patients who have undergone breast augmentation and still look great 15 to 20 years later.” —New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD

Fat Transfers Don’t Stick
“From the safety standpoint, fat transfer has now been studied in very fine detail and when performed correctly, it’s safe to use all over the body, including the breasts. From the efficacy standpoint, as we learn more about what is actually going on with fat tissues and cells that are being transferred, our understanding of the entire process has evolved. We're discovering that most mature fat cells actually do die and get absorbed during the process, but they aren't what's most important anyhow as they are replaced by a whole bunch of other things like stem cells and "precursor" cells. There is new blood supply being sprouted, and overall health and vitality of the tissues is improved. We just need to reorient our understanding of what really happens during fat transfer and set our expectations accordingly; when that is done, fat transfer becomes highly successful and one of the most satisfying things I do in my practice now.” —San Diego plastic surgeon Joseph Grzeskiewicz, MD

You’ll Blow Through Your Vacation Days
“The myth that most cosmetic procedures require long periods of downtime. Plastic surgeons recognize the need for patients to return to their normal activities quickly and we’ve responded by utilizing the most cutting-edge techniques to provide rapid recovery procedures such as breast augmentation and breast lifts, facelifts and liposuction with minimal swelling and bruising and almost no downtime. Modern technology combined with advanced techniques ensures excellent natural results as well as a faster recovery time.” —New York plastic surgeon Stephen Greenberg, MD

The Fat Can Come Back
“I wish the myth that after you get liposuction one area, the fat will grow back in another area will go away in 2020. When you regain weight, the area you treated will return slower while the non-treated areas enlarge faster making this myth believable.” —Augusta, GA plastic surgeon Christopher Ewart, MD

Implants Equal Lift
“The myth that I hear is that implants will lift your breasts. This is not true if your breasts need a real lift. Large implants overtime will tend to look like a rock in a sock and ultimately you will end up getting a breast lift, so it’s important to do it right from the beginning.” —Beverly, Hills, CA plastic surgeon Ritu Chopra, MD

Plastic Surgery Is Only for the Rich and Famous
“Plastic surgery is popular all over the world. If only the 1% were having plastic surgery it would not be the thriving industry that it is today. Most plastic surgery patients are not rich and famous, but average people who are trying to improve their lives, refresh their confidence and enhance their overall appearance.” —Louisville, KY plastic surgeon Chet Mays, MD