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7 Plastic Surgery Myths Revealed

  • Introduction

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  • Liposuction is an effective way to lose weight

    CREDIT: Hartphotography | Dreamstime Thin Woman Obese Woman
  • Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery mean the same thing

    eye, eye diseases, treatments for vision loss
    CREDIT: Eye photo via Shutterstock eye-closeup-120123
  • Plastic surgery is surgery without scars

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  • Breast augmentation is a one-time procedure

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  • Fat can reappear in other areas after liposuction

    CREDIT: Ljupco Smokovski | Dreamstime Belly Fat Man
  • Sun exposure after surgery is off-limits

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  • Cost is the only real barrier to cosmetic surgery

    CREDIT: Flavio Takemoto | Stock Xchng Makeup Face

People have many misconceptions and oversimplified ideas about plastic surgery. While many associate the field with the material plastic, the word actually comes from the Greek word meaning "to mold". Almost all plastic surgeries have some cosmetic element, but many procedures focus on reconstruction. In 2011, the most common reconstructive surgeries were tumor removal and laceration repair, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

"Reconstructive surgery restores the normal and cosmetic surgery improves on the normal," said Dr. Rod Rohrich, professor and chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

But plastic surgery is only part of the equation. Following reconstructive surgery, a patient typically requires rehabilitation. Exercise needs to be done after liposuction. And while cosmetic surgery can tighten skin, a patient may have to apply post-cosmetic surgery creams to minimize lines. Surgical and nonsurgical procedures "can complement and enhance each other, but they don't replace each other," said Dr. Alan Matarasso, a plastic surgeon practicing in Manhattan, and a spokesman for ASPS.

Regardless of the type of surgery someone ultimately has, prospective patients need to understand the risks and benefits of each and have realistic expectations about what it can do. Here, seven common misconceptions are laid to rest:

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