You know you’d like to make improvements to your physical appearance, but you also love yourself and don’t want to regret a surgery that isn’t medically necessary. Dr Julio Garcia, an expert Las Vegas plastic surgeon, has more than 30 years experience creating natural-looking, long-lasting cosmetic surgical improvements for women and men of all ages. He also understands why you’d feel trepidatious about making a permanent change to your face or body. Here he shares some of the common myths and facts about cosmetic surgery that can help you decide whether or not it’s the right choice for you:
MYTH: Cosmetic Surgery Makes You Generic Looking
“Twighlight Zone” fans may worry that getting cosmetic surgery could make them look too “generic,” like the young female protagonist in the episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.” However, Dr. Garcia approaches each rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, facial implant, and other aesthetic procedures differently, depending on the patient before him.
As an artist as well as a surgeon, Dr. Garcia is keenly aware of the subtle variations in facial bones and muscles that give each of us a unique look. His aim is to improve the symmetry and balance of your face without making you look like the latest celebrity (or Number 12). Your cosmetic surgery improvements make you look like the best version of yourself … no one else.
MYTH: Cosmetic Surgery Destroys Your Ethnic Heritage
Dr. Garcia is also sensitive to your ethnic heritage. He’s an expert in the anatomical differences between different ethnicities and accounts for these in his approach to your surgery. For instance, if you have Asian or African heritage, you may have less cartilage in your nose than other ethnicities do. He makes sure to add a bone or cartilage graft to your rhinoplasty to give you natural-looking and long-lasting results.
Rhinoplasty is, in fact, one of the prime procedures where patients worry that getting the improvement they want will too drastically change their look. Dr. Garcia works with you to create a more balanced, symmetrical nose that still conveys the character of your background.
MYTH: Cosmetic Surgery Is Just About Vanity
While most women and men are motivated to get cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance, the benefits extend far beyond the superficial. Sometimes the benefits can even be medical.
A tummy tuck, for instance, repairs torn or overstretched abdominal muscles, which makes your core stronger and alleviates pain. A tummy tuck also gives Dr. Garcia an opportunity to repair a ventral hernia or a urethra that leaks.
Even those surgeries that “only” have aesthetic benefits can be life altering. Fixing a recessed chin makes you look stronger, more powerful, and more successful, which can change the way that other people react to you. Finally ridding yourself of exercise-resistant fatty bulges and getting the figure of your dreams may inspire you to make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices so that you never develop a fatty bulge again.
MYTH: You Can’t Preview Your New Look
Decades ago, your doctor may have drawn a quick sketch or made some adjustments while you looked in the mirror to give you an idea of what your final results might be. But other than that, you were pretty much in the dark. Not only did you have to wait until the bandages came off before you had an inkling of whether you’d reached your goal or not, you had to patiently let your body heal for up to a year before getting your final results.
While the recovery period is the still the same, you no longer have to guess at what your new look will be. As part of your consultation, Dr. Garcia generates digital Before and After images. Based on what you see, the two of you make adjustments until you’re satisfied with the final goal.
MYTH: Cosmetic Surgery Results Are Instant
Whether you have a relatively simple procedure, such as blepharoplasty, or a more complex one, such as rhinoplasty or a facelift, your body needs time to heal. You may be able to see the difference in your face or figure directly after your procedure, but as part of the healing process, the treated area will swell and may become discolored.
Depending on what you’ve had done, Dr. Garcia may bandage the surgical area and/or give you compression garments to wear. Bandages are usually removed in a day. Compression garment may be worn for several weeks.
During your consultation, Dr. Garcia gives you a good estimate of how much downtime you’ll have after your surgery, and how much time off you’ll need from work and other responsibilities. The initial healing phase may be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Some procedures, such as rhinoplasty, require about a year before the swelling is fully resolved and your final results are apparent.
MYTH: Cosmetic Surgery Doesn’t Last
A good facelift, mini lift, neck lift, blepharoplasty, or other procedures can turn back the clock by as much as 10 years. Although you will continue to age during the ensuing years and decades, you’ll maintain that 10-year advantage over your peers.
You can extend the life of your facelift or other rejuvenating surgery by revitalizing your skin every year or so with laser toning. A high-quality, medical-grade, individualized skincare system, and regular exfoliation with chemical peels or microdermabrasion will keep your skin healthy, taut, and strong. Sun avoidance and daily sunscreen use (SPF 30 and above) is essential, too.
Non-rejuvenation surgeries, such as rhinoplasty, last a lifetime. Even cheek, chin, and breast augmentation may last for decades. If you have breast implants, Dr. Garcia recommends regular exams and possible MRIs to ensure their integrity and your safety.
MYTH: Nonsurgical Rejuvenation Is Just as Good as Surgery
Even though aesthetic science has pushed the envelope of nonsurgical rejuvenations far forward, none of our current technologies can match the dramatic improvements of surgery. When started early enough, laser toning treatments may stave off the need for a facelift by years or even decades. But if your skin has already started to sag, nonsurgical methods may fall far short of your expectations.
MYTH: You Always Need General Anesthesia
Many of the more minor cosmetic surgery procedures, such as a brow lift or chin liposuction, can be done using local or twilight anesthesia on an outpatient basis Even a mini lift or a neck lift might be best performed while completely numb but partially awake, as Dr. Garcia can then get a better idea of how the improvements will look while your face is in motion.
Some surgeries, including rhinoplasty or a facelift, may take several hours. In such cases, Dr. Garcia will probably recommend general anesthesia. No matter what type of anesthesia is used, you’ll need someone to drive you home after your procedure.
MYTH: You Can Only Do One Surgery at a Time
To save yourself recovery time and expense, it’s best to do more than one procedure simultaneously, rather than spreading them out over months or years. Each cosmetic surgery requires days to weeks of downtime and could also require many months of recovery.
Let Dr. Garcia know about all of your concerns during your consultation. He may be able to schedule your facelift, blepharoplasty, and rhinoplasty all on the same day, for instance.
Some surgeries are best done separately. For instance, Dr. Garcia usually advises getting a breast lift first, and then leaving several months before going on to breast augmentation. Sometimes the initial improvement is so satisfying that you decide not to move on to further surgery.
MYTH: Going Abroad for Surgery Saves Costs
A dangerous trend of the last 10 years or so that seems to be reversing is traveling to another country for cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. While the promise of a great exchange rate, lower prices, and the opportunity to throw a vacation into the mix may be tempting, caveat emptor!
Other countries don’t always have the same requirements for plastic surgery that the U.S. does, and may not offer board certification. Even if you find a great surgeon overseas, you may find it difficult if not impossible to book a revision surgery, if something isn’t done to your satisfaction.
All cosmetic surgery is risky. Ensure your safety and give yourself the best chance of a desired outcome by finding the most skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon possible.
Call Dr Julio Garcia today or book an appointment online.