Hints, Allegations and Half-truths (Part 2 of 3)

Dr. Soma concurs with Dr. Yeo that nothing can or should replace consultations. Not necessarily because resources are wrong, but because online information is typically generic. He estimates, “Every patient is unique and has different facial and bodily shapes. Cosmetic Surgery& Beauty magazine debunks some cosmetic surgery myths (continued)

Dr. Somasundaram Sathappan - November 23, 09:57 AM

Previously, in part 1 of 3, the below myths were published: -
  • Myth 1: All cosmetic surgeons are real plastic surgeons.
  • Myth 2: All plastic surgeons are the same and have the same skillset. 
  • Myth 3: It’s rude to ask plastic surgeons tough questions about their experiences and expertise, and unseemly to ask for before and after photos of previous patients. It is also demeaning to ask to speak to a plastic surgeon’s previous patients, or request for another doctor’s contact for a second opinion. 
Myth 4: All information about plastic surgery can be found online. 
Dr. Yeo disagrees with this statement. “The internet is full of information and misinformation so the best source of material regarding procedures can only be obtained during consultations,” he emphasises. Dr. Dilip however, sustains that online research is no doubt a great resource as there are massive amounts of data on the internet. Still, he does argue that appropriate and unbiased information from non-sponsored sources aren’t always easily found. To minimise chances of misinformation, Dr. Dilip tries to recommend credible online resources whenever his patients want to conduct their own research. 
Dr. Soma declares that patients can find rather comprehensive material online as long as sites are credible. For the best information, patients can Google the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons when conducting their own research. In addition to credible websites, patients can also YouTube certain procedures which not only explain a surgery’s ins and outs but also allow viewers to watch how they’re carried out. Dr. Soma concurs with Dr. Yeo that nothing can or should replace consultations. Not necessarily because resources are wrong, but because online information is typically generic. He estimates, “Every patient is unique and has different facial and bodily shapes. As such, what one reads or views online may not be what you actually need.” He also says, “You may want a certain change but that augmentation may be done differently to what you’ve read or seen online.” 
Though Google should never replace consultations, Dr. Soma does endorse some homework beforehand in order for patients to ask the right questions.    
Myth 5: Plastic surgery makes you look like a totally different person and it’ll be obvious to everyone that you’ve gone under the knife. 
Dr. Yeo thinks this myth to be untrue. He remarks, “Some patients request for a subtle change while others request for more noticeable changes.” This, in Dr. Yeo’s opinion, should be discussed during consultations so that appropriate treatments may be performed to effect in changes that are acceptable to both the patient and surgeon. 
Dr. Dilip believes there are two ways to look at this myth. Many of his patients seeking visible differences in their bodies and faces sometimes request for drastic surgery when aiming to achieve bodily normalcy, thus making it a case of reconstructive surgery. Others may seek facial rejuvenation without desiring to look different. Therefore Dr. Dilip stresses the importance of consultations and understanding a patient’s expectations to ensure that desires aren’t unrealistic. 
Dr. Soma considers this statement to be both true and false depending on a patient’s culture and background. In the Asian community, patients want to appear fresher without looking artificial. Caucasian patients, on the other hand, are more open to publically revealing their makeovers. With both concerns in mind, Dr. Soma believes the best way to approach patients is to find out their desires and tailor solutions based on unique needs. 
Myth 6: Physical modifications brought upon by plastic surgery are difficult to reverse. 
This is not always factual. “Most patients do not seek reversibility but if this is a concern, it should be made known to the surgeon so that appropriate treatment may be administered,” Dr. Yeo shares. For instance, a breast augmentation patient possibly seeking reversibility should opt to undergo implant augmentations rather than fat grafting as implants are easily removed as opposed to fat transplantation which is difficult to reverse. 
Dr. Soma conversely deems this myth as fact because – depending on the surgery performed – once something is done it can’t be undone. He stresses, “If patients have undergone a tummy tuck or a breast lift, how can plastic surgeons reattach skin that’s already been cut and thrown in the bin?” Yet, and in line with what Dr. Yeo said, Dr. Soma does agree that implant augmentation patients with qualms regarding asymmetry may address such complications at later stages. 
Dr. Dilip concurs with Dr. Soma and maintains that most surgical procedures may cause irreversible changes to the body. While requests for reversibility are few and far between, there are odd instances where patients regret procedural outcomes due to a change of heart, or body dysmorphic disorder. “Every attempt should be made to avoid such outcomes but when they occur, carefully planned revisional procedures may restore some or most of the body’s anatomy. Scars are of course permanent, and with more surgery comes more scarring,” Dr. Dilip cautions.

And Part 3 will encompass: - 
  • Myth 7: All plastic surgeons more or less charge the same fee for most surgical procedures. 
  • Myth 8: Patients are encouraged to bring images of celebrities or specific facial features they desire to consultations as plastic surgeons will be able to produce similar results. 

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Dr. Dilip further verifies that procedural price may be variable based on surgical difficulty and time spent in operation. In addition, combination procedures may be carried out at the same time, with different plastic surgeons offering differing surgical fees based on the types of combination surgeries performed.
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