The work of a plastic surgeon is a specialty in surgery involving the repair, reconstruction, or alteration of any region of the body except the central nervous system. Like any job, working as a plastic surgeon comes with some misconceptions, as stated below:
1. All plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons.
This statement is false as the two may seem the same but have their differences in the real sense. Cosmetic surgery uniquely focuses on enhancing the appearance of the human body through surgical procedures. On the other hand, plastic surgery is primarily dedicated to reconstructing or repairing dysfunctional areas on the face and body caused by trauma, burns, disease, and birth disorders.
2. The plastic surgeon must always give the patient what they want.
A plastic surgeon, like any doctor, is governed by specific policies, both professional and ethical. They are not supposed to decide for a patient. However, they are obligated to do what is best for the patient, and at times, this may involve turning down patients who may want risky procedures. Therefore, the plastic surgeon needs to balance what the patient wants and put their best interest in mind.
3. The patient must always be happy with the outcome
Just as any other form of surgery, there is no perfection in plastic surgery. The goal is to make a positive difference for the better. At times, this may not be possible, or rather the result may not meet the patient’s expectations, some may want another procedure, but the surgeon should never take it personally. Hence, their role involves making the patient understand that things may not turn out as they would want. It is better to make less promise and give more than was expected.
4. The best Plastic surgeons are in big cities
While most people that the best and most plastic surgeons are found in places like Hollywood, this may not necessarily be the case. Many have made these assumptions and spent a lot of money to travel far and wide and to big cities like Los Angeles to see doctors without doing a proper background on them just because of their geographical positioning. However, this has led to the rise in even worse outputs from ‘quack’ doctors.
5. Plastic surgeons do not have to work as hard as other doctors.
Many people do not understand the time invested before one becomes a plastic surgeon. It is assumed that their training is more glamorous. However, on average, it takes at least ten years of training; going to medical school for about six years, doing a general surgery residency, years of basic research, and eventually specializing in plastic surgery for specific parts of the body.
6. Plastic Surgeons majorly operate on rich people and celebrities
In most countries, many insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgery. This does not mean that most patients that come in for surgery are “big names.” Over the years, there have been numerous improvements in technology. Procedures continue to become more affordable. Contrary to popular opinion, most people make middle income.
7. Plastic surgeons make a minimal impact in changing lives.
Plastic surgery is more than just changing the appearance of a person’s body. In the real sense, most of the procedures have changed lives and given patients a fresh outlook on life by boosting their self-esteem. They take trauma calls and reconstruct people’s faces, basically getting rid of their insecurities.
8. Plastic surgeons only deal with women.
A considerable part of the world’s population is women, so it is expected that the number of female patients outnumbers their male counterparts. The number of men opening up to plastic surgery has continued to surge as many more men invest in their physical appearance.
These misconceptions mainly stem from the stereotypes and lack of understanding of the role of plastic surgeons in society. Just like any doctors, they are mandated to improve the lives of others.