Plastic Surgery Myths
1. All Cosmetic Surgeons are equally qualified.
Facts. Even though many cosmetic surgeons advertise themselves as having many different kinds of certifications, only the American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies that someone is fully trained in plastic surgery of the face and body. As is typical for adequately trained plastic surgeons Dr. Murphy completed 7 years of training after medical school and then passed a rigorous written and 2-day oral exam.
2. Only real plastic surgeons can perform any type of plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures.
Facts. In Colorado and most states anyone with a valid medical license can call themselves a plastic surgeon. Plastic Surgery is truly buyer beware. The consumer must investigate carefully before he or she goes to see a physician
3. All Cosmetic Surgical Societies are the same.
Facts. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are the elite and original Plastic Surgery societies dating back for decades and for decades have been committed to maintaining and promoting the highest levels of plastic surgery proficiency and have led the field in plastic surgery research. Membership in both is limited to plastic surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is limited to Board certified plastic surgeons who specialize in Cosmetic surgery.
4. My friend went to Dr. X and so I should too
Facts. Satisfied patients and patient referrals are key to the success of any practice (Dr. Murphy gets about 70% of his patients from referrals of happy patients) but top quality training and certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is essential to your research. Although having your surgery in a private surgical Suite is beneficial for many reasons, it is important to be sure that your chosen surgeon has privileges for the procedure he would perform on you at an accredited hospital.
5. The newest and most heavily advertised liposuction techniques including laser and ultrasound are vastly superior and can easily and safely be done by any doctor.
Facts. The claims of these modalities are vastly overstated and generally unsupported by adequate studies. Studies do however support the conclusion that the quality of the result of liposuction is more dependent on the experience of the surgeon than anything else.
6. Approved by the FDA guarantees that a procedure is perfectly safe and effective.
Facts. Approval by the FDA is an important detail when considering a particular procedure, however while approval tells the consumer that a procedure is generally safe approval offers no guarantee as to effectiveness of the procedure. Effectiveness is typically shown with studies and discussion at national meetings of Societies such as The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. If a procedure, especially a new non surgical procedure promising the same results as surgery seems too good to be true it usually is.
7. Non-surgical fat removal is going to replace liposuction.
Facts. Although there are a number of non-surgical procedures advertised to remove fat without surgery Dr. Murphy has not yet seen anything which promises any results worth the price charged for such procedures. Some people have temporary smoothing of the skin with some of these technologies but further research is needed to develop a non-invasive procedure which can deliver truly significant results.
8. Injection Lipolysis and/or Mesotherapy has been proven to be safe and effective.
Facts. There is no FDA approved procedure where chemicals are injected under the skin to dissolve fat. Even recently the FDA sent letters to spas across the country ordering them to stop injecting patients with unknown chemicals which have no proof of being either safe or effective and may actually be harmful and painful when injected.
9. Those “Quick” facial procedures I see advertised on TV are done under local anesthesia in a doctors office are a great buy.
Facts. These procedures are typically performed by physicians who have taken a weekend course on how to do the procedure. The results shown in such advertisements are rarely those of the physician you may see. The owners of the most widely advertised lift was recently fined hundreds of thousands of dollars because their employees were writing the testimonials on their website in their free time. There is no substitute for training and experience when it comes to quality facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr. Murphy offers his patients a number of “mini” or less expensive procedures you may choose which he feels have survived the test of time.
10. Skin tightening procedures will replace facelifts.
Facts. Although lasers are very effective at smoothing skin and Dr. Murphy uses them regularly, skin tightening is minimal with most laser resurfacing. Other procedures using radio frequencies and ultrasound have had variable results at best. Once again the patient needs to look carefully where they are spending their money. Although they may avoid surgery, are they really getting their money’s worth (and these procedures are not cheap).
11. I need to take high doses of Vitamins and Supplements to help me heal after surgery.
Facts. It is Dr. Murphy’s opinion that if you eat a balanced healthy diet and perhaps take a multivitamin you will likely heal just fine. Actually Dr. Murphy has his patients stop almost all of the supplements they may be taking because they may interfere with surgery, including increasing the risk of bleeding and potentially interfering with anesthesia medications.