THE TRUTH ABOUT COSMETIC SURGERY

COURTESY OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE

If you are considering cosmetic surgery, make sure you do research to achieve the best results. For more information contact Surgical Attractions via their website www.surgicalattractions.com, by e-mail at info@surgicalattractions.co.za, or telephonically on (011) 880 – 5122.

Having plastic surgery is not something you should jump at without giving it some serious thought.

Ingrid Lomas, CEO of Surgical Attractions, a leading medical referral company based in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, which specialises in matching the individual needs of clients to highly respected and reputable plastic surgeons, dental surgeons and ophthalmic surgeons, provides you with a thorough guide to cosmetic surgery.

THERE IS NO DOWNTIME FOLLOWING PLASTIC SURGERY

False. There is a seven-day resting period following breast augmentation; seven to 10 days rest needed following rhinoplasty/nose surgery, depending on whether a tip rhinoplasty or full rhinoplasty was done (internal swelling that is not visible to the eye can last as long as nine months to a year); between seven and 10 days rest required following cheek augmentation and nine to 12 days rest needed following tummy tuck surgery. There isn’t, however, any downtime required for botox injections.

LIPOSUCTION GETS RID OF CELLULITE FOREVER 

False. The truth of the matter is that liposuction does not get rid of cellulite at all; it simply rids the body of stubborn, genetic pockets of fat that don’t normally budge despite constant dieting and exercise. Therefore, liposuction is not an alternative to eating properly and maintaining a healthy way of life (which would include exercise). As a result, largely overweight clients are not suitable for liposuction procedures. Firstly, it is detrimental to their health to put them through the procedure and secondly, it is taking their money under false pretences. Only a certain amount of fat can be removed from a person’s body without putting their lives in danger, and to take a relatively small amount of fat away from a largely overweight body would result in no visible difference to their outward appearance.

What is recommended, is that they consult a good dietician, and once they have slimmed down to close to their goal weight, then the appropriate surgery can be done to sculpt their body into their desired shape. Once they have the desired body, however, the real challenge is to maintain it. Rather capitalise on all the effort and cost that has gone into the final achievement by continuing to eat and exercise in a responsible way, than by bingeing. This does not mean that one can never have a roast with all the trimmings and enjoy the odd drink – it’s just simply a case of everything in moderation.

YOU CAN TRAVEL ABROAD STRAIGHT AFTER PLASTIC SURGERY

False. It is not recommended that patients fly overseas directly after cosmetic surgery. A certain recuperation period is essential for all surgical procedures and it is not acceptable to shorten that period. Rather don’t go for surgery if you cannot recuperate properly. It is essential that patients be in close proximity to their surgeon and his or her nursing staff for the designated time so that the client’s progress can be monitored on a regular basis until they are pronounced well enough to travel or return to work.

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SCARLESS SURGERY

False. You cannot make incisions in the skin without leaving a scar. Having said that, however, you get scars and you get scars. This is another reason why it is essential to place yourself in the hands of a highly-skilled plastic surgeon. A highly skilled plastic surgeon is different to an ordinary surgeon, in as much as he is an artist at the same time. He will, of course, have to make incisions in order to perform the required surgery but the way in which he makes those incisions will set him apart. The end result can quite literally be the difference between a thick jagged scar, or a relatively straight scar that can fade in time to a thin line, with the aid of specially prepared scar creams and lotions.

THE CHEAPER THE BETTER

False. If a surgeon feels the need to discount himself in order to try and attract business then one has to wonder why? Surely, he would want to earn the going rate if he was worthy of it? After all, one does not, for example, usually take the cheapest quote when getting quotes for reparations to one’s home or car. So why would anyone want to accept the cheapest quote for a surgeon to work on their precious bodies? In nutshell, a damaged home or car is easily replaceable. A damaged body is not.

PLASTIC SURGERY LASTS FOREVER

False. The loose skin and tissue can be removed from the region of your tummy to provide you with the flat tummy you once enjoyed prior to pregnancy. Your flat chest can be replaced by the beautiful full breasts you’ve always dreamed of. Your face, neck and eyes can be lifted, the unwanted skin and fat removed and the muscles in your face tightened in order to create the outward appearance of far more youthful looking you.

The truth of the matter is that the human body changes and ages with every passing year – whether you have had plastic surgery performed on it or not. So, if you have plastic surgery at the age of 40 for instance, 10 years down the line your appearance will no doubt be a product of a combination of natural ageing and how you have treated your body during that period. Yo-yo dieting and bingeing will also cause the skin and flesh around your breasts, neck and face to lose their elasticity faster and this combined with the natural loss over the years of collagen in your body, will result in you seeking another breast augmentation and facelift sooner rather than later. If, on the other hand, you treat your new look with the respect it deserves, you can stave off repeat surgery for far longer.

PLASTIC SURGERY POSES NO COMPLICATIONS

False. Having surgery is not without risk and as such, each procedure, and there are many, has its own and varied set of possible complications that could arise. In fact, many books have been written on the subject. Reputable surgeons should be able to provide their clients with a list of possible complications relating to their individual procedure, or procedures, pre-operatively, in order that they can make an educated decision as to how they would like to proceed.

MY ONLY OPTION IS HAVING A SURGICAL PROCEDURE

False. Many plastic surgeons offer non-surgical procedures. Both non-surgical and surgical procedures have their merits and both admirably suit different people at different times in their lives. Fat dissolvers are still pretty much in their infancy in South Africa, in as much as they haven’t been around as long as liposuction. They are best-utilised and most effective in areas of the body that don’t require the removal of large quantities of fat. Unless many treatments are required, fat dissolvers are less expensive than conventional liposuction and incur far less downtime. An evaluation by medical practitioners who are well versed in fat dissolver procedures and conventional liposuction would be advisable before making a decision.

Thread Lifts are also still very much in their infancy in South Africa compared to conventional facelifts. The reported advantages of thread lifts are the lack of downtime, the small incisions involved as opposed to larger incisions required in conventional facelifts, and the cost, which is less than a conventional facelift. The reported disadvantages of thread lifts, appear to be infections related to the threads in some individuals who reject them, loose ends to the threads suddenly appearing through the incisions post-procedure and the need for a repeat of the procedure far sooner than following a conventional facelift. Again, it is vitally important to visit a surgeon who has in-depth knowledge and expertise in both thread lifts and conventional facelifts and who can evaluate each person on their individual requirements.

ALL SURGEONS ARE TRAINED IN THEIR FIELD

False. With the multitude of doctors’ websites that have popped up in such profusion in recent years it is very difficult for a prospective patient to know who is who, without prior knowledge of the expertise of the medical practitioner featured on these websites, or in any other form of advertising. Therefore, prospective patients should always attempt to seek referrals from reputable companies who specialise in matching clients to a surgeon’s specific area of expertise. Such companies can also put prospective clients in touch with other clients, who have had first hand experience of the surgeon’s expertise, for greater peace of mind and provide clients with the surgeon’s practice number and registration number.

IF I'M UNHAPPY WITH THE RESULTS I SHOULD COMPLAIN

True. Unhappiness with a procedure should be reported to the surgeon concerned as soon after surgery as possible, and if no satisfaction is derived, the matter should be reported to the referring company who can take up the matter with the surgeon concerned, in order to bring a speedy and amicable resolution to the problem. If, in the absence of a referring company, the client and the surgeon concerned are unable to resolve the dispute between them, the matter can be reported to the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of South Africa, who in turn will investigate the nature of the dissatisfaction further in order to resolve the problem.