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Dispelling the myths about plastic surgery

In the term ‘plastic surgery’, the adjective plastic denotes sculpting or reshaping, a term derived from the Greek word plastikos – the verb to shape or to mould.


This original meaning appeared in English texts in 1598, and the surgical association of ‘plastic surgery’ to reshaping and remodelling of the human body first appeared in 1839. The modern specialty of plastic surgery only really developed around the first and second world wars. Because the term ‘plastic’ found itself attributed to materials made from petroleum in 1909, much of the modern world incorrectly associates the idea of plastic surgery with plastic products.


In this article, the team at Bisson Plastic Surgery will look at some of the common myths associated with plastic surgery, in our continued efforts to provide helpful and informative advice on both our industry and the services we provide as medical professionals.


Plastic surgery is only for people overly concerned with image


We can’t argue that some people choose plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. However, there are many more reasons people choose cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery than to simply enhance their appearance. Many cosmetic procedures are in fact undertaken to improve physical features which patients feel may have changed over time to try and return them to where patients are less self-conscious.


For example, natural changes after pregnancy and childbirth to breasts and the abdomen can be impossible to resolve simply with diet or exercise. Other patients may always have been troubled by what they feel might be unacceptably large or prominent features such as ears or nose which can be improved or corrected surgically.


Plastic surgery can offer a new quality of life to individuals involved in serious accidents, or those born with malformed physical parts of their bodies. Correction of developmental issues such as asymmetrical breast growth or symptomatic excessively large breasts can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life and self-confidence. Plastic surgery is responsible for correcting cleft lip and palates, reconstructing complex, sometimes life- and limb-threatening injuries, and is often-sought by those who need to undergo mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer.


Reconstructive plastic surgery can help improve an individual’s confidence in these situations, not aiming to unnaturally increase their beauty, but to reduce to the effects of psychological and emotional trauma that can accompany an accident, an illness, or a birth malformation.


Plastic surgery requires a long period of painful recovery


As with all areas of medicine and surgery, plastic surgery is constantly improving, refining, and advancing in its approach to surgical techniques, anesthesia, and pain control. For the majority of patients, the early postoperative recovery time is a period of between five to seven days as wounds knit together and bruising starts to settle. Even when undergoing more extensive or invasive surgery, many patients can return to sedentary work within one to two weeks.

More vigorous exercise or heavy work can take longer to return to, but importantly the lay off allows tissue swelling and inflammation to resolve and repairs to regain strength without unduly risking their integrity.


During the first few days of recovery, you can expect minor discomfort as you would with any medical operation, with the majority of patients showing no need for assistance and regaining full independence after a few days.


You can always tell when someone has had plastic surgery


There will always be people in the world who go to extremes in their physical appearance. Whether it’s bodybuilders, dieters, or those seeking plastic surgery, it’s our job as medical professionals to approach each individual and their body with a broad understanding and application of our training and knowledge.


We hope to bring our team’s level of experience in plastic surgery to each patient whatever their existing level of knowledge may be. This is why an initial consultation with any surgeon is both vital for understanding the expectations and limitations of surgery, and to assess the patient as an individual and advise accordingly.


As plastic surgeons, our ultimate goal is to ensure you are happy and comfortable with the result. The sign of an expert plastic surgeon is a patient who looks entirely natural following any procedure, and we pride ourselves on both our reputation and ability to improve our patients’ lives without an unnatural or overly extreme change in their appearance.


Plastic surgery is only for women


While the common understanding is that plastic surgery is often aimed at women, the number of men seeking plastic surgery has seen a steady rise in recent years.


Men are just as susceptible to bodily malformations and physical conditions as women, and seek out a plastic surgeon for many reasons besides the traditionally assumed desire for Botox and smoother skin.


One example is in the situation of gynecomastia, where men experience a condition that leads to enlarged, male breasts. This is a condition caused by an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone which causes swelling in the breast tissue and can occur at many stages of a man’s life.


Reports say that between 15 and 20 per cent of plastic surgery patients are men, and their reasons for seeking out a surgeon encompass everything from skin cancer to eyelid tucks and facelifts.


Bisson Plastic Surgery in Wellington


At Bisson Plastic Surgery we pride ourselves on looking after our patients. We treat every individual with the empathy, respect, and professional care and courtesy they deserve.


Our team ensure a friendly and reassuring environment from your very first consultation, and strive to deliver a stress-free experience ensure you are fully informed and ultimately comfortable with your choices.


Bisson Plastic Surgery is the home of Marcus Bisson, a vocationally registered specialist in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with the NZ Medical Council, and a respected surgeon who holds a number of national and international affiliations in Plastic Surgery.


Marcus works in the Wellington Regional Plastic, Maxillofacial and Burns Unit where he is currently the clinical director and established his private practice in March of 2010. You can find an exhaustive list of Marcus’s experience and qualifications here on our website, or if you’d like to discuss your interest in our services, contact one of our team today.

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