It takes two hands to handle a whopper at Hungry Jacks, but Team Costhetics needed all hands on deck to debunk myths about aesthetic enhancement treatments.

As Australia’s leading resource for the latest news and information on plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures, and beauty around the world, our research takes us far and wide. Wherever we go, we still stumble across half-baked half-truths and flat out lies. This really makes us spit the dummy.

In this article, Costhetics will set the record straight on the big fibs that are being told by people who don’t know any better.

Zombie Lie: Everyone Knows You’ve Been “Done”

In the past, many men and women who chose cosmetic enhancement went for big, bold, beautiful results that couldn’t be overlooked. Unfortunately, people didn’t say, “You look great.” They said, “You look like you’ve had plastic surgery.” Times have changed. Today, patients want a more subtle improvement to their features.

Demand has given birth to improved surgical techniques, tools, and other products. “A good surgeon is the most important factor for getting good results,” says Dr George Marcells, a facial plastic surgeon based in Edgecliff. “An experienced surgeon has the knowledge and skill to follow a patient’s individual physiology to ensure that s/he looks subtly, but noticeably better.”

Big Fib: Only the Rich Can Afford Aesthetic Enhancement

Liar, liar, pants on fire. You don’t have to be a moneyed, privileged “Real Housewife” to make improvements to your appearance. You can look fabulous and be frugal, too. Bespoke skin care products are a perfect example. They are more costly than beauty counter products, it’s true, but far more effective in keeping your skin looking great for the long term. In fact, a good skin care regimen can help you avoid costlier treatments such as laser skin resurfacing.

“Don’t sacrifice quality of care for a low price,” warns breast surgery expert Dr Benjamin Norris. “You want affordable care, not something advertised as ‘cheap.’” To save money, low-cost providers can cut corners, use black-market products, and skimp on safety protocols, he says. “If you’re lucky, your outcome will be adequate,” observes Dr Norris. “If you’re not, you could end up with an infection or a serious medical problem.”

Falsie: Cosmetic Treatments Hurt Like Hell

Minimising/managing pain and anxiety are central to good cosmetic enhancement, whether the procedure is an invasive surgery or a non-invasive treatment. “One patient’s threshold may be quite different than another’s,” says Louisa McKay, Costhetics’ Zen Master of communications and surgery scaredy-cat. “A good doctor will discuss your needs and tailor his/her treatment plan accordingly.” In fact, a good doctor’s words can make your whole experience better.

Depending on the work that is being done, discomfort during the procedure is managed by:

  • Local anaesthesia
  • Twilight anaesthesia
  • General anaesthesia
  • IV sedation

After your procedure, discomfort is addressed with pain control medication, both prescription and OTC. Providers will also offer advice for home care options such as applying ice to reduce swelling and bruising.

Untruth: Cosmetic Enhancement is Scary

It’s natural to feel a little anxious about plastic surgery or aesthetic enhancement. A change in the status quo is bound to make you feel uneasy, even if it’s a change for the better. There are ways to manage anxiety, however, and the solution may not be a pill. A 2012 study published in Anesthesiology magazine revealed that a technique called conversational hypnosis can actually relax a patient’s fears without a need for anxiety medication.

“Calming words from their physicians may be more effective than pills for anxious surgical patients,” say researchers. Doctors speak quietly and calmly to patients, keeping their attention focused on something other than the surgical preparations. It has shown to be valuable during procedures that require conscious sedation, but also beneficial to ease patients more comfortably into general anaesthesia.

Fairy Tale: Cosmetic Injectables Are a Danger to Your Health

Cosmetic injectables contain materials such as hyaluronic acid and collagen, both of which occur naturally in the human body. A paper published in the JAMA facial Plastic Surgery journal reported on a study that found “fillers are very safe and that the most common complications are swelling and infection, which are relatively benign complications, with no permanent side effects,” said Dr Hani Rayess, an otolaryngology resident in the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and lead author of the paper.

“It’s not the injections that are dangerous, it’s the injectors,” warns Louisa McKay. “Unfortunately, here in Australia there are people who have not been properly trained and certified, yet present themselves as professionals. As long as you’re a doctor, you can buy fillers and other injectables.” Choose a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, cosmetic physician or nurse injector with a strong educational background and extensive experience to minimise your risk.

Super Whopper: Recovery from Cosmetic Procedures Takes Forever

Wrong! There are zillions (well lots, anyway) of non-surgical, non-invasive treatment options for someone who only has a lunch hour to spare:

  • Lip plumping injections
  • Wrinkle-relaxing injections
  • Chemical peel/Microdermabrasion
  • CoolSculpting and Cooltech
  • Nose augmentation with dermal fillers
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections

Even the downtime for more complex procedures has been reduced thanks to advancements in science and medicine. You can return to work in about 7 days following:

  • Brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • Breast Augmentation/Reduction
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Laser resurfacing

You’ll be back in action after two weeks when you undergo:

  • Facelift
  • Brow lift
  • Eyelid Lift
  • Liposuction

Plan on taking it easy for up to a month following:

  • Breast lift with augmentation
  • Body lift
  • Butt augmentation
  • Combo procedures like Mummy Makeover (tummy tuck, breast lift, etc.)

Truth be Told

At Costhetics, we truly believe aesthetic enhancement is a noble profession. Plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, and non-invasive procedures seek to and actually do improve people’s lives. Rhinoplasty can ease breathing problems and change someone’s quality of life. Eyelifts can help people see more clearly. Cosmetic injectables can give someone the confidence they need to compete.

It makes us mad to think about anyone who would be helped by a little nip and tuck, but is afraid to do so because of the lies that keep circulating. Please help us spread the truth and let people know that cosmetic enhancement is nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be ashamed of, and something you may really enjoy. ‘nuf said?

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