News & Features

Big Fat Lies

Myth 1

Implants Delay the Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer

Plastic surgeon Dr Marcel Daniels explained: “Silicone gel and saline-filled breast implants interfere with mammograms because they are radio-opaque. Augmented women need special mammography views, occasionally supplemented with additional studies such as ultrasound or MRI’s.” However, he added: “Two large scale clinical studies, one in Los Angeles, California and the other in Alberta, Canada found augmented women with breast cancer did no worse than breast cancer patients without implants, suggesting that diagnosis is not significantly delayed. Of note, both studies found the incidence of breast cancer was lower in augmented women compared to non-augmented women. While no one is rushing to promote breast augmentation as a means of breast cancer prevention, the relationship between implants and breast cancer is undergoing further study.”

Dr. Steven Teittlebaum agreed adding: “There is a theoretical risk implants can cause a shadow in a mammogram over the cancer. It could certainly happen, yet is not born out statistically at all.”

Myth 2

Laser Resurfacing is only for Fines Lines

“No. Laser resurfacing, while initially known for its ability in terms of smoothing fine lines, has been shown conclusively to also help in lifting skin and tightening the dermis – both dermal collagen and dermal elastin. Many patients who present now for limited facelifting or facialplasty procedures also benefit from CO2 laser for resurfacing. In addition we use the CO2 laser for resurfacing acne scars, “explained plastic surgeon Dr Grant Stevens.

Facial plastic surgeon Dr Gregory Keller said deep lines from natural aging and sun damage show dramatic improvements with laser resurfacing. “You can resurface very extreme problems. Lines around the mouth do really well, as does sun damage on the cheeks. However, a younger woman who has crinkle lines around her eyes when she smiles may not do very well, even though they’re fine and you can hardly see them. These lines are created by muscle movement and the person has probably had them since they were young. The lines will keep coming back.”

Myth 3

You Can Tell When Someone has had a Facelift

Dr Grant Stevens said: “You can always tell when there is a bad facelift. But there are many good ones which you cannot tell. So it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. One sees the bad ones and says she had a bad facelift, but you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Big Fat Lies Dr Maurice Sherman said there are three main telltale signs that indicate a facelift has been done – which are totally avoidable if correct techniques are used. “You can tell a facelift if there is an unnatural pull to the face that produces a mask-like appearance. If the incisions aren’t placed correctly you can either see them or you can detect a certain amount of hair loss along the temporal hair area or along the back of the ear. And The Devil’s Earlobe is where the earlobe has been stretched downwards over a period of time.

The earlobe does not have any cartilage to prevent it from stretching. Another sign is the earlobe pointing towards the back of the neck instead of towards the chin. A good surgeon will tell his patients nobody should be able to tell they have had a facelift, and they should be able to style their hair any way they want.”

Myth 4

Hair Transplants Never Look Natural

Dr Bill Rassman said: “Everybody perceives hair transplants don’t look natural because of techniques used in the past. Hair grows in natural groups or clumps and, if you move them just that way, then the transplant looks natural. But in the old days, they didn’t know how to move these groups properly and it took a long time to develop the technology. That technology has only been developing since the early 90s. For the previous 35 years they were doing a technique that produced unnatural results – and that’s what people think of when it comes to transplants. However, the technology has changed rapidly. I would challenge anybody to pick a person with a hair transplant among a line of men where some had their natural hair and others hand transplants.”

According to Dr L. Lee Bosley, if you see a completed hair transplant that doesn’t look natural, it’s because of bad technique and is not an indication of what is actually possible. “Modern research in hair growth has discovered natural scalp hairs actually grow in small groupings (called follicular units) of 1, 2, 3 or occasionally 4 hairs per unit. So, it has been our strong emphasis not just to imitate nature, but to try to duplicate nature. We employ micro-technologies that use randomly scattered 1, 2, 3, and 4 hair units. Often other medical doctors, even on close inspection, have a difficult time telling which hairs are original (non-transplanted) and which have been restored (transplanted).”

Myth 5

Fat Comes Back After Liposuction

Plastic surgeon Dr Charles Spenler explained fat does not come back after liposuction: “When you are born you don’t produce any more fat cells. The fat cells you have just get bigger or smaller depending on your weight. Once the fat cells are removed they’re gone forever. If you gain weight it is going to be distributed more equally through all the fat cells. What we do in liposuction is reduce the number of fat cells in those areas that are genetically predetermined to have a lot of fat.”

Plastic surgeon Dr Magarita Benett states that weight gain can occur after liposuction if the patient does not maintain a healthy lifestyle. “If you are not careful with eating a healthy, balance diet, and instead are eating a lot of fats and carbohydrates – what you would call junk food – weight gain can occur. However, an adult does not produce more fat cells.

“Liposuction is not a cure-all for poor dietary habits or inactivity but it definitely can contour the body, it can motivate people to lose weight and can remove areas that are resistant to weight loss. But it cannot replace the health benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet.”

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