Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Plastic Surgery: De-bunking 3 Common Myths

With cosmetic surgery becoming a household topic, it’s spawned many a myth and rumor. Here are three common myths about "getting some work done."

1. It’s just for the rich

As the price of plastic surgery continues to drop you can get a big change with just some change from your pocketbook.

  • Drop in prices: In the U.S., the average cost for breast augmentation, tummy tuck or nose reshaping is $5,000 to $8,000, according to plastic surgeon Jane Loftus, M.D., of Info Plastic Surgery.
  • Financing options: Patients have a variety of payment alternatives, including installment plans from plastic surgeons and credit from finance companies.
  • Medial tourism: Many Americans travel abroad in search of cheaper cosmetic surgery. According to the University of Delaware Daily, a facelift in South Africa costs $1,250 compared to $20,000 here in the U.S. Importantly, medical tourism isn’t considered safe, so consult with your doctor first.

2. It’s just for looks

Many cosmetic surgeries have little to do with enhancing one’s looks and more to do with health or achieving a normal appearance.

  • Reconstructive surgery: In the last 10 years, reconstructive surgery has increased by 34 percent, writes Walter Erhardt, M.D., for the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery.
  • Popular procedures: In 2005, the most common surgeries were actually reconstructive ones, including: "tumor removal, laceration repair, scar revision, hand surgery, breast reduction and maxillofacial surgery," he writes.
  • Rhinoplasty: It isn’t about the perfect nose. In many instances, rhinoplasty is used to treat sleep apnea or sinus diseases.
  • Patients: Reconstructive surgery helps a variety of patients: breast cancer survivors; those with birth defects, deformities and skin cancer; people who’ve lost a significant amount of weight; and patients in need of breast reduction.

3. It’s just for the ladies

While the market was once reserved for aging ladies, men now make up a significant base for plastic surgeons.

  • Male stats: "Fourteen percent of Botox injections, 15 percent of all liposuction and eyelid surgeries, 20 percent of laser hair removal and 24 percent of nose jobs are carried out on men," writes Kate Grossman, M.D., medical director of About.
  • Top five surgeries: For men, these include rhinoplasty, hair replacement, eyelid surgery, liposuction and breast reduction, notes Dr. Grossman, M.D.

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