The realm of cosmetic surgery is covered by a thick veil of myth. “Cosmetic surgery makes you look like a lifeless wax figure. Recovery from surgery is long and painful. The trendy is always the best…”
But instead of believing everything you hear, why don’t you trust a professional to guide you through?
Dr. Ruslan Zhuravsky, an expert cosmetic surgeon passionate about his field, is here to help you separate fact from fiction, shedding light on the true nature of cosmetic surgery.
Bid farewell to misconceptions and embrace a clearer understanding as we explore the safe and transformative power of these treatments. Whether driven by curiosity or contemplation, this article equips you with invaluable insights for making informed decisions.
Myth #1: Bigger procedures lead to more unnatural results
One of the most common myths is that larger-scale, more invasive procedures lead to fake and unnatural results. I believe this idea comes from the fact that fake results usually take the form of an over-stretched face or a tiny scooped-out nose. This then leads to the misconception that if you do a bigger surgery (e.g. either pull too much or cut away excessively), you will get a more dramatic and unappealing result.
Poorly executed techniques and shortcuts during surgery are the real reason behind such unfortunate cases. In fact, oftentimes it is the “smaller” techniques that use shortcuts and then overcompensate by pulling or cutting away too much.
For most other instances in life, we want a professional that will do more detailed work in order to get a better result. This should also be the case for plastic surgery. Bigger, more invasive procedures do not translate directly into more pulling, more stretching, or more cutting away. These procedures are so large-scale because surgeons spend more time and effort on the nuances that lead to better and more natural results.
Facelifts and rhinoplasty fall prey to this myth most often. A very common thing I hear from patients is that they don’t want a “full facelift” or a “real facelift” because they fear looking too tight. However, pulling tighter and giving a windswept appearance is not why I do more work during a facelift. It is actually quite the contrary. The extra work done during these procedures is to ensure the deep tissues are properly elevated and secured, not simply pulled and stretched. This allows me to reset the facial structure to a desirable position, and achieve a more natural look. It also helps avoid the skin from pulling and stretching, which usually leads to the classic signs of a bad facelift.
When it comes to noses, patients tend to express their desires with the word “just”, implying a small quick change. They use phrases like “just a small hump reduction” or “just a more refined tip”. But with rhinoplasty, doing less can be devastating.
For example, simply removing the hump from a nasal bridge can lead to a collapse and an overly thinned nose if proper support is not replaced after the reduction. Refining a tip by simply removing some cartilage and adding a few sutures can lead to nostril retraction and an even more bulbous tip if the cartilage is not oriented and reinforced correctly. Sometimes, small and subtle changes actually require a significant amount of work. A surgeon needs to perform the right techniques to ensure stability and avoid unnatural results.
When deciding on plastic surgery procedures, do not assume that smaller, less invasive work translates into more subtle or natural results. Ask your doctor which procedures they would recommend for you, what the close alternatives might be, and what the pros and cons are.
Myth #2: You can choose a surgeon based solely on their credentials, location, or popularity
As plastic surgery has grown into a very popular and highly marketed service, many misconceptions and vague schemes keep popping up in the public space to promote business. And it can be damaging.
When I do revision surgeries, or fixing other people’s work, I often ask my patients what made them decide on their original surgeon. The common answers are the surgeon’s popularity, location, results in other areas of the body, or other vaguely related factors. Some of these factors do bear some weight, but none should be used solely to decide who to trust with your surgery.
Choosing a Board Certified surgeon is of course the first step, but that still leaves a very broad pool. So the next step is to determine if the surgeon specializes in the type of surgery you are interested in having. Just because a surgeon did a great job on your breast augmentation doesn’t mean they are the optimal choice for your rhinoplasty.
The nuances of all these surgeries are very unique and different. That’s why you want a surgeon that specializes in your particular procedure and does it frequently.
However, you should be cautious to avoid those surgeons who perform a very high number of procedures with low quality. Within the plastic surgery community, we often call these “surgery mills”. They heavily advertise a particular procedure and turn them over quickly. They are also able to offer very low prices because such surgeons are performing many of these each day.
Focus on the surgeon themselves and don’t be swayed solely by superficial factors. They simply cannot guarantee the desired results. Beyond choosing a surgeon that is Board Certified and specializes in your particular procedure, make sure their results align with your expectations. Picking the correct surgeon requires thorough consultations and an honest conversation.
Myth #3: The latest, trendy procedures are always the best
Plastic surgery is a rapidly evolving field and a popular market. No wonder it frequently introduces new products and techniques that promise better results with lower risk and downtime. Yet, as with any thriving business market, not everything that glitters is gold. The allure of the latest trends can lead patients to seek out these procedures, assuming they guarantee the best outcomes. Sadly, this is not always the case.
In reality, the novelty of a procedure doesn’t automatically equate to superior results. Being cautious and careful is essential when you consider the latest innovations. The actual outcomes of these trendy procedures may not live up to the appealing advertising and leave patients dissatisfied with their investments.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every new advancement in the field of cosmetic surgery is a potential fraud or marketing bait. Rather, what I encourage patients to do is to have open and honest discussions with their chosen practitioner. Instead of solely focusing on the procedure’s novelty, inquire about the practitioner’s experience with it and the results they’ve observed. Communicate your expectations clearly and assess whether the procedure can genuinely meet or come close to meeting those expectations. Thoroughly examining before-and-after photos of previous patients can also provide valuable insights into the procedure’s effectiveness.
It’s essential to strike a balance between embracing innovation and ensuring realistic expectations for your desired surgery outcome. Take the time to engage in meaningful discussions with your surgeon and carefully consider the results of other patients. This will empower you to make the right decisions for your unique needs and goals. Remember, it’s not about chasing the trend, but about finding the most suitable approach to achieve your dream transformation.
Myth #4: Fillers make people look over-inflated and fake
It’s all too easy to walk around and spot examples of poor or unnatural filler results. Yes, badly performed filler procedures often lead to an over-inflated and fake appearance. The unfortunate visibility of poorly executed filler cases has contributed to the widespread misconception that all fillers result in an unnatural look. Many people think fillers make people look like dolls or lifeless wax figures.
It’s essential to recognize that when administered skillfully, fillers can achieve exceptionally natural and subtle enhancements that leave observers simply thinking the person looks remarkably good. The key to avoiding undesirable outcomes doesn’t lie in avoiding fillers altogether. Instead, it is about their proper and precise application.
Incorrect use of fillers can lead to results that appear artificial mainly due to their placement in the wrong areas, using the wrong type of filler, or utilizing an improper amount. But in its true purpose, filler serves to replace lost volume or enhance specific areas for aesthetic improvement. It should not be employed to overcompensate for signs of aging that are unrelated to volume loss. In such cases, it will indeed result in an exaggerated appearance.
When entrusted to an experienced and knowledgeable professional, fillers can produce subtle, elegant results, ensuring you look your best without a trace of artificiality. Don’t be afraid to embrace the potential of fillers as a powerful tool in the hands of an expert. In the right hands, you can bid farewell to the notion of over-inflated and fake appearances. Instead, say hello to a rejuvenated and refreshed version of yourself that exudes genuine beauty.
To achieve a natural and youthful look, skillful administration of fillers is paramount. This requires a plastic surgeon with a deep understanding of facial aesthetics, a broad range of filler products, and a profound knowledge of their unique properties.
Myth #5: Surgery is a one-shot permanent alternative to fillers (aka “After surgery, I won’t need fillers/other treatments”)
Oftentimes I see people believe that plastic surgery can single-handedly replace the need for fillers or other treatments. This is a common misconception in the world of cosmetic enhancements. While fillers and non-surgical treatments like lasers can indeed postpone the need for surgery and effectively disguise certain features, they primarily serve as adjuncts rather than outright alternatives to surgical procedures.
A holistic approach to your beauty is crucial. As we age, our facial changes can be categorized into three main aspects:
- volume loss, involving fat and bone,
- laxity which affects facial tissues, including muscles and fat pockets,
- skin texture alterations.
Surgery can address the sagging caused by laxity by lifting fat pockets and deep tissues to a more youthful position and removing excess skin. However, it cannot restore lost volume or change the skin’s inherent quality. That’s why patients may still require volume restoration through techniques like fat grafting or fillers to complement the lifting achieved through surgery. Similarly, lasers and other skin treatments may be necessary to improve skin texture.
Here, it’s also essential to debunk the “sub-myth” that stretching the skin tightly during surgery will eliminate all wrinkles and maintain an unnaturally smooth appearance. In reality, skin has a natural stretch – even on youthful faces. Of course, the changes that come with aging include reduced elasticity, making it less likely to snap back into place easily. And if, as a plastic surgeon, I stretched the skin so tight onto the patient’s face and neck, they would not be able to move their face, turn their head left, right, or up. It would also lead to a very unnatural appearance and eventually just pull on the incision and the ear lobe.
Cosmetic surgery is not a once-and-for-all solution to say goodbye to other procedures. Surgery’s primary role is to eliminate excess skin, but factors such as skin texture, elasticity, and coloration may still require additional treatments, including lasers, microneedling, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to achieve the desired rejuvenated appearance.
While surgery can address certain aging aspects, you should embrace a holistic approach. It combines surgery, fillers, and various treatments tailored to individual needs to ensure the most comprehensive and natural-looking results in the pursuit of timeless beauty.
Myth #6: Recovery from plastic surgery is long and painful
The fear of a long, uncomfortable, or outright painful post-surgery recovery period deters many people from pursuing the desired face or body transformations. People imagine tissue swelling that wouldn’t disappear for months, endless bloody bandage changes – you name it. The word “surgery” itself evokes the scariest of associations in potential patients.
Contrary to cuntless fears, many patients are pleasantly surprised by the actual experience of post-surgery recovery. In fact, they often express regret for not having undergone the procedure sooner. Yes, certain changes will continue to occur over several months following surgery. These include, for example, a gradual decrease in swelling and maturing of incision lines. But most patients find themselves confident and ready to go out in public in just 7 to 10 days post-op.
Besides, patients receive post-op care and can take pain relief medicine. The level of discomfort experienced during recovery varies depending on the type and extent of the procedure. For larger surgeries like facelifts, patients may require low-dose prescription pain medication for a day or two. However, the vast majority transition to over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol after just 24 hours.
To know what to expect from your recovery period, it is crucial to have a thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon about the expected recovery process and the best strategies to accelerate it. This conversation will also help you avoid the anxiety associated with the surgery.
Advancements in surgical techniques and post-operative care have significantly improved the recovery process, allowing patients to resume their daily activities and social engagements relatively quickly. Plastic surgery is no longer a daunting experience filled with prolonged pain and isolation. Instead, it offers an opportunity for transformation with a surprisingly smooth and manageable recovery period.
Debunking major myths surrounding plastic surgery is key when it comes to making informed decisions and ensuring a positive experience.
Armed with knowledge and guided by a specialized, board-certified surgeon, you can confidently embark on your aesthetic journey, free from misconceptions and ready to embrace the transformative power of plastic surgery.