5 min read

Top 10 Cosmetic Surgery Myths

22 Apr

There's a lot of false information circulating about cosmetic surgery out there and I'd like to set some things straight.

1. Does fat removed via liposuction reappear?

Liposuction is a very effective way to get rid of stubborn areas of fat that do not ‘budge’ and it effectively removes most of the fat cells. Once the area is depleted of fat cells, they don’t grow back. The fat cells that are left behind do respond to weight gain and loss in the usual manner. For example, after Liposuction if you control your diet, maintain your weight, and exercise regularly you will maintain the results of liposuction for a long time. If however, after Liposuction your energy consumption exceeds what you burn, the remaining fat cells that were not removed with the liposuction will respond to the weight gain.


2. I hear botox is a toxin, is it dangerous?

Botox is a short form of Botulinum toxin. It is a toxin however the dosage used for cosmetic treatments is very small. At these doses they are very effective and not dangerous.


3. Following prolonged botox treatment, will I regain movement in those muscles or will they remain paralysed?

The effects of Botox last for 3- 4 months. Regular long-term use of Botox is very popular and effective. There have been no scientific studies or anecdotal reports of permanent paralysis following long-term Botox use.


4. If I get silicone breast implants, can they leak into my body?

Only if with the First Generation Breast Implants made in the 70’s. Breast implants back then were simply a bag of silicone filled with liquid silicone that had the consistency of syrup. The risk of complications such as breast implant rupture and silicone leakage back then was high.

In contrast, the breast implants of 2013 are technically superior in every way, including the shell and the silicone gel. The silicone gel has the consistency of ‘turkish delight’ and does not run like syrupy gel of the 70s. The risk of complication is very low.


5. Will I scar from cosmetic surgery?

Scarring is an inevitable part of any surgery, including cosmetic. A good plastic surgeon is skilled to minimise scarring with a variety of techniques. They include optimisation before the operation, meticulous and delicate methods during the surgery, and proven scar treatments including gels, creams and pressure started soon after the operation.


6. Is cosmetic surgery dangerous?

Cosmetic surgery is performed under an anaesthetic, whether it is general anaesthesia, local anaesthesia or twilight sedation. Although cosmetic surgery is not outright dangerous, it carries the same risks of any surgery performed under anaesthesia. If the procedure is performed by a highly skilled surgeon, in the right hospital with the right anaesthetic, the risks are significantly reduced.


7. What is a stem cell face lift?

The term ‘Stem Cell Face Lift’ is misleading. It is more marketing hype than scientific truth. A facelift is a surgical procedure where excess skin is removed and the underlying muscles are tightened to restore youthful contours. None of this happens in the ‘Stem Cell Face Lift’.

It is a form of ambush marketing that capitalises on the popularity of the stem cell in the popular press and the effectiveness of the surgical facelift. In fact the stem cell in political debates and mainstream media is the Embryonic Stem Cell and not the Adipose (Fat) Derived Stem Cell. The ‘Embryonic Stem Cell” is a very potent cell type and has a lot more capabilities than the Adipose (fat) derived stem cells.

In a stem cell face lift your own fat is taken from your abdomen and injected into the face to replace the volume lost due to ageing. In doing so the face is ‘plumped up’ and the skin is ‘lifted’. So where are the stem cells? The fat that is taken from your tummy has a lot of fat cells and a small amount of cells known as Adipose Derived Stem Cells - this is the source of the term.


8. What is a liquid face lift?

The term ‘Liquid Face Lift’ is misleading as it implies it can achieve a similar result obtained by a facelift, which is a surgical procedure. The ‘liquid’ in a liquid facelift refers to Botox and Dermal Fillers. Dermal Fillers are produced as ‘solid gels’ and they are cross-linked and bio engineered to behave like solids and hence technically not ‘liquids’.


9. What’s the difference between dermal fillers and botox?

Dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections (Botox) act differently to bring about facial rejuvenation by targeting two different aspects of facial ageing. Dermal Fillers replace the volume that is lost due to ageing and ‘plump up' the face and restore youthful contours.

Botox paralyses the muscles the cause wrinkles in the face and around the eyes and produces wrinkle free skin. The best results are obtained by combining Dermal Fillers and Botox in a way complement each other.


10. Can is have liposuction and not a tummy tuck and get the same result?

Liposuction removes excess fat where as a Tummy tuck removes excess skin and the accompanying fat in that area. A tummy tuck corrects a flabby abdominal wall by tightening it surgically. Liposuction is often used together with a tummy tuck to improve the contour.

Liposuction is a very effective way to get rid of stubborn areas of fat around a tummy that won’t budge despite diet and exercise. Those who have a regular health and fitness routine, maintain a stable weight and have a minimal amount of loose skin experience the best results from liposuction.

For those with excess skin as well as fat, the tummy tuck is the more popular option.

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Dr Naveen Somia MBBS, PhD, FRACS

Written by Dr Naveen Somia MBBS, PhD, FRACS

Dr. Naveen Somia is a Sydney Plastic Surgeon who listens to his patients, understands their problems and works alongside them to help achieve their aesthetic goals by applying his skills and years of experience in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. A published author on Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Naveen’s blog is aimed at helping you make the right choices and stay safe in your quest to look your personal best.