Do you think you have the right ideas on “fact versus fiction” when it comes to Plastic Surgery? In a previous article, 10 statements testing your knowledge of plastic surgery were presented. Test your knowledge even further with the ten more “True or False?” statements offered below.
It takes a week or so to be able to truly see the effects of any new skin care regimen.
FALSE – You should actually allow about a month. This is the length of time it takes for a complete turnover of facial skin cells and the appropriate time to make a reliable evaluation of the new regimen.
Breast implants need routine replacement every 10 years.
FALSE – If the implant is intact and the breasts still look and feel fine, nothing needs to be done.
Extensive bruising after liposuction is the rule.
FALSE – With the “tumescent style” liposuction most plastic surgeons use today, a dilute local anesthetic is injected into all the areas intended for sculpting. This blocks pain reception and lessens the need for anesthetic drugs during the procedure. This technique also tends to minimize any bleeding during and after liposuction because the mixture typically also contains the vasoconstricting agent, epinephrine. As a result, post-op discomfort and post-op bruising are both significantly reduced with this popular technique.
A rhinoplasty (“nose job”) is typically quite painful because of the common need to “break the nasal bones”.
FALSE – Most rhinoplasty patients remark post-op that they are surprised at how little discomfort they feel. Everyone is a little bit “skeeved” by the idea that the nasal bones will have to be broken, but the pain afterward is overall classically minimal – it’s not equivalent to getting punched in the nose! Fine instruments to separate the bones are used so that the width of the nose can be narrowed for cosmetic purposes.
The salt water placed inside a saline breast implant is injected directly from a standard IV bag.
TRUE – Once the implant has been placed (empty) inside the pocket fashioned for it under the breast and chest muscles, it is usually filled directly with saline from a hanging IV bag to the desired volume. Special sterile tubing is used. Almost like “building a ship in a bottle”. Instead of going into a vein in the arm, the IV saline goes into the implant, unexposed to the air or other potential contaminants.
Ideally, one should lose all the extra weight that they can on their own prior to any liposuction.
FALSE – This kind of plan can backfire because sometimes too much fat is lost and all that is left is loose skin – liposuction won’t work well on that. Even a small amount of fat removed through liposuction can sometimes actually help to tighten the remaining skin in the healing process that follows, but there has to be some fat in the area in order to make this work. Better strategy – see your plastic surgeon in consultation first about your “problem areas” and make a plan together.
Gynecomastia (female-like fullness of the male chest) is a relatively uncommon condition.
FALSE – Many boys and men are affected by this troublesome condition and are always surprised to learn that they are not as alone as they initially thought. Although most of the cases of gynecomastia which appear during adolescence will spontaneously disappear, for about 1 in 4 it won’t. For these young men, their gynecomastia will, in fact, progress in both size and symptoms, as the years go by. The good news though – liposuction alone is often curative.
Silicone filled implants are heavier than saline filled breast implants.
FALSE – Saline filled breast implants weigh approximately one gram per cc. Silicone filled breast implants weigh approximately 0.97 grams per cc. Therefore, technically speaking, silicone filled breast implants are lighter than their saline counterparts for any given size. However, from a practical and patient point of view, silicone and saline filled implants will essentially have the same weight impact on the chest for any given size.
A “tummy tuck” is probably the “biggest” and the most major cosmetic surgical procedure performed by most plastic surgeons today.
TRUE – A “tummy tuck” is a very popular and rewarding procedure for both doctor and patient alike. But although it might sound like a “simple, little procedure”, it is most definitely not. Plastic surgeons refer to this operation as an “abdominoplasty” – typically a 3 to 4 hour operation where the muscles of the abdomen are surgically tightened, large amounts of excess skin and c-section scars are removed and a new belly button is created. The recovery can be quite daunting and the chances for complications (e.g. blood clots in the legs) are higher than they are for most other operations, too.
An “outy” belly button after pregnancy is often a sign of a hernia.
TRUE – Very often, the muscles of the abdomen develop some weakness and a slight separation (called a “diastasis”) as a result of the significant stretching taking place during pregnancy. In some cases, this weakness can extend through the umbilical stalk attached to the belly button you see on the outside and actually create a true hernia. The belly button might look puffy or full and hurt every once in a while. Or, it might look like it has gone from an “inny” to more of an “outy”. Although almost never a “medical emergency”, this condition should still be checked out by a physician (and surgically repaired) as soon as possible.
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He served as a Professor of Plastic Surgery at Temple University and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and performed reconstructive surgery with “Operation Smile” in Vietnam. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art cosmetic surgery procedures for the body and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.