Myth busters guide: Five things you might not realise about plastic surgery

21 May 2018

There are probably more myths and misconceptions about plastic surgery than just about any other branch of healthcare. It’s tempting to think “there’s no smoke without fire” and this can make you feel understandably wary about some of the treatments on offer. So, how do you separate the fact from the fiction?

We have gathered together our top five myths and misconceptions and have subjected them to the scrutiny of an expert plastic surgeon, Mr Alok Misra. Here are some things you might not realise about plastic surgery.

Myth 1: Botox® will “freeze” your face and leave you incapable of smiling or frowning.
Actually, this is far from true. When it is performed properly, Botox® will discreetly smooth the muscles in the forehead, leaving you looking younger and fresher but still allowing a full range of expression in your face.

As with everything, the results you get will depend on the skill of the person performing the procedure. That’s why it is important to choose a properly qualified and experienced surgeon to carry out the treatment.

Myth 2: Breast implants increase your risk of breast cancer
Evidence from The Institute of Medicine (IOM) shows that breast implants do not cause breast cancer or the recurrence of breast cancer.

However, while implants don’t cause cancer, it is still possible for someone with implants to develop cancer, in the same way that anybody else can.

For this reason it is important to undergo regular breast screening and to keep checking your own breasts regularly. It is also important to tell anyone performing your breast screening, i.e. the radiographer, that you have breast implants.

As an exception to this, a rare but treatable lymphoma (ALCL, cancer) has been found in an small number of breast implant patients. The current advise by the UK regulatory devise authority (MHRA) is to discuss this finding, as part of the informed consent process and continue using breast implants.

For more information, click this link.

Myth 3: Liposuction removes cellulite
If only this were true! Sadly it isn’t. Cellulite is caused by tight bands of fibrous tissue. Liposuction removes the layer of fat from below the skin, it will not make any difference to the tissue that causes cellulite.

Indeed, in some cases it may even increase the appearance of cellulite. Be sure you understand what any cosmetic procedure can and can’t do before you embark upon it, no matter which procedure you’re interested in.

Myth 4: Plastic surgery is only for those with deep pockets
There has long been the idea that plastic surgery is the preserve of the rich and famous. Certainly, when an A list celebrity undergoes the latest cosmetic procedure, more of us get to hear about it than if our next door neighbour has the same treatment! But, in actual fact, plastic surgery has become increasingly affordable and is now popular with both men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Many of the less invasive procedures are particularly cost-effective and, in the case of surgery after accident or injury, often the procedures are covered by insurance.

Myth 5: Everyone will know I’ve had plastic surgery
Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that others will guess that they have spent money improving their appearance or tackling an aspect of themselves that makes them feel unhappy or self-conscious. The idea that your surgical procedure will be obvious to everyone who meets you is a myth, however.

Once the initial bruising and swelling has gone down – and your surgeon will be able to advise you how long this will take – the procedure should settle down to give you a fresh, natural look.

With good plastic surgery, you will still look like you but just a younger, fresher, happier, more confident you… and who wouldn’t want that?

Mr Alok Misra is a Consultant Plastics and Reconstructive Surgeon here at Spire Thames Valley Hospital. If you would like to learn more about any procedures or have any questions,  please feel free to book an appointment by calling 01753 665 404 or email us


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