Ever since its foray into popular culture, plastic surgery has been riddled with misconceptions. However, apart from these extreme cases of ‘a good thing gone bad,’ plastic surgery is a viable way to keep the skin looking younger for longer and it can help those with burn wounds and birth defects to reclaim their looks and their dignity.
It’s Risky and Dangerous
Like any type of surgery, there is always going to be a certain level of risk that you have to accept when undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. However, you are able to proactively reduce the occurrence of accidents and complications by consulting with an experienced and reputable surgeon whose main area of expertise is the specific procedure that you’re interested in.
Make sure that the surgeon has appropriate safety measures in place, which includes going through your full medical history, as well as a full exam to complete with lab work. These need to be done to eliminate potential risks. Reliable and responsible surgeons also perform their procedures at accredited surgery centers and hospitals instead of their offices. So, that’s another important factor to look out for while you’re still looking around for a surgeon that you are able to trust.
“Ask if your doctor’s surgical center is recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO),” says Dr. Gary D. Breslow, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in New Jersey. “The JCAHO is a trusted not-for-profit organization that administers voluntary accreditation programs for hospitals and other healthcare organizations.”
Lastly, be sure to confirm the surgeon’s background, history and qualifications before you proceed, in order to give yourself peace of mind knowing that you’re working with a seasoned professional.
Women Need to Wait Until They’re 60
Another misconception about plastic surgery is that women need to do it only once they reach the age of 60, or else they risk developing a dependency to it. This is simply not true, because plastic surgery is a sort of maintenance that keeps one looking youthful. When a woman starts with her plastic surgery during the pre-menopause stage, they’re more likely to achieve better results.
That’s because doing smaller maintenance procedures during the pre-menopause stage enables your skin to maintain those results for much longer. In addition, it will look organic because your skin will have evolved with the appearance of those results on your skin over the years. On the other hand, women who only start doing plastic surgery when they hit their sixties are more likely to end up with negative results, as the skin now requires tighter pulling in order to achieve the desired results.
Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery are the Same
Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery is not the same as cosmetic surgery. These are two distinct disciplines and each requires a unique method of training that is different from the other. For example, some doctors that are board-certified cosmetic surgeons are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties because they simply haven’t gone through the training required in order to qualify as recognized plastic surgeons. This is why they operate as cosmetic surgeons that can only perform a limited amount of procedures, such as to slightly augment or improve the appearance of certain aspects of the facial features and so on.
On the other hand, a surgeon who is recognized by the ABMS has completed an extensive course of specific education on all that can be learned about both plastic and cosmetic surgery over a long period of time. This means that they can perform all manner of plastic surgery procedures, including reconstructive surgery to help burn victims and those with birth defects, as well as more elaborate cosmetic surgery procedures.
“Board-certified plastic surgeons receive years of rigorous training before they’re allowed to practice,” says Dr. Breslow. “Make sure you ask your doctor about this before going under the knife.”
While most people view plastic surgery as vain, expensive and dangerous, it is simply another helpful field of medicine that is meant to improve human lives by maintaining youthfulness and vigor for longer. The power is in your hands as an individual to make an informed choice about the type of surgeon to consult for your procedure. Remember to ask all the right questions, such as where the procedure will be taking place and whether the doctor is certified and affiliated with the relevant medical board associations mentioned above.
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