Cosmetic surgery is concerned with the maintenance, restoration or enhancement of physical appearance through surgical and medical techniques, and is carried out by surgeons who have specialised in those fields.
In 2014, nearly 16 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States alone with the number of cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. having almost doubled since the start of the century.
Out of 1,191 UK newspaper articles mentioning cosmetic procedures, 89% incorrectly used the term ‘plastic surgery’ in the context of cosmetic surgery and the media often portrays the cosmetic surgery industry in a variety of misleading ways, and not always in a positive light. The media’s skewed portrayal of the industry and incorrect use of terminology surrounding the profession has led to a number of misleading myths around cosmetic surgery.
In truth, cosmetic surgery is a lot like every other medical specialty; it is practiced by highly trained medical physicians, providing everything from hand surgery, to burn scar revisions, to help people lead better, more fulfilled, healthier lives.
There are many myths that have been created around the cosmetic surgery industry. Read on to understand the truth about the most common myths that surround the profession.
1. Cosmetic surgery is all about beauty and vanity
With an increase in the accessibility of surgery in recent years, and the advancement of cosmetic procedures to change all sorts of facets of our appearance, it is becoming increasingly important that we look at what motivates people to undergo cosmetic surgery.
There are a number of factors that can influence a person’s decision to undergo a procedure, many of which will be personal to them. However, the recent increase in cosmetic surgeons, the influence of social media, and the evolution of procedures have all in some way contributed to the increase in uptake of cosmetic surgery.
Although breast augmentation, botox and facelifts tend to get all the media attention, cosmetic surgery encompasses everything from birth defects, such as cleft palates, to post-cancer breast reconstruction, and even work-related hand injuries.
Good cosmetic surgeons care about the functionality and overall results of surgery, not just the aesthetics of how a patient will look after their procedure. When a patient does undergo a procedure for cosmetic reasons, it is most likely to correct something which is not correctable by diet, weight loss or non-surgical procedures. Patients can often, therefore, feel in a state of despair by the time they reach cosmetic surgery.
2. Cosmetic surgery patients are the rich and famous
Cosmetic surgery is more often than not an elective surgery and is therefore paid for out of pocket. Declines in the prices of procedures has helped to make middle-income earners the primary consumers for cosmetic surgery over recent years, and this has meant that it is now a requirement that pre-surgical counselling take place before someone alters his or her appearance.
Most cosmetic surgery patients are not the rich and famous, but are average people who simply wish to restore confidence, enhance their overall appearance, and improve the quality of their lives.
The rich and famous do often appear in the media with stories that relate to the cosmetic procedures which they have undertaken. But they will have undergone the same discussions and assessment procedures as anyone who has applied to have a cosmetic procedure.
In addition to discussing the outcome of the surgery, it is the surgeon’s job to attempt to gauge the patients expectations; whether they are emotionally stable and whether they really want the operation, or are being coerced? For example, is a female patient considering a breast augmentation at the request of her husband, or is a teenage girl seeking a nose job at the urging of her mother?
Even in reconstructive surgery cases, patients need to be counselled about the cost of the surgery, what rehabilitation will involve, and what the likelihood of success will be.
3. Only women have cosmetic surgery procedures
Although women have been the majority consumers of cosmetic surgical procedures in the past, men are turning to cosmetic surgery in increasing numbers.
Male patients are more likely to undergo less invasive procedures than their female counterparts, opting mostly for treatments such as botox, laser treatments and dermal fillers. These procedures can give men a rejuvenated and naturally youthful appearance without any downtime and at relatively low costs.
These procedures, along with liposuction, are the most popular treatments for men, with many reporting a need for a competitive edge in the workplace as a reason for seeking cosmetic treatments.
4. Cosmetic surgery leaves no scars and lasts forever
Cosmetic surgeons are great at making scars look better, more refined and smaller, but all types of cosmetic surgery will generally cause some form of scarring. However, at the time of the procedure, the best ways to minimise scarring are recommended to the patient, and advice and treatments are offered to help make your scars look as good as possible after surgery.
While many types of cosmetic surgery will offer years or even decades of personal satisfaction, many factors affect how long results will last. Cosmetic surgery can turn back the hands of time, but the clock keeps on ticking and great skin care, good diet, and overall health are all important factors in maintaining your natural appearance.
Phoenix Hospital Chelmsford offers a variety of procedures in cosmetic surgery and has an excellent track record in patient care. With expertly trained physicians and exceptional surgical care, they offer a premium cosmetic surgery service with the highest standards of care. Advice is offered which is tailored to your needs, along with outstanding medical care including follow-up appointments to help you after your surgery, and all at fixed affordable prices.
Lots of myths surround cosmetic surgery, but in the hands of highly trained professionals, and with surgical procedures advancing year on year, you are more likely to have a safe and positive experience with qualified staff at reputable clinics now than ever before.