Plastic surgery is becoming much more commonplace in today’s day and age. Data from the the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that in 2018, 18 million Americans underwent some form of plastic surgery—up a quarter of a million from 2017. This upward trend has been relatively stable over the past five years.

While many people are inquisitive about plastic surgery, some never go the extra length to learn more about what it entails. This can further propagate misconceptions about plastic surgery. To keep you informed and educated, read on to learn more about the myths surrounding plastic surgery procedures:

Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Surgery Are the Same

Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are not the same. Cosmetic surgery is a practice that plastic surgeons can specialize in—meaning every cosmetic surgeon has a background and education in plastic surgery. Both deal with changing and improving the patient body, however, there are some notable differences.

Cosmetic surgery is hyperfocused on improving physical appearance. These are always elective surgeries, like breast enhancement or facial contouring. Plastic surgery, on the other hand, deals with reconstruction of body and facial defects. Reconstructive surgery might include breast reconstruction, scar revision surgery, or defect repairs (such as cleft palates).

Plastic Surgery is for Women

Unfortunately, there’s been some taboo around the idea of men opting for plastic surgery. And while plastic surgery is certainly more common among women, it is also a growing trend among men. Statistics show that in today’s day and age, people are more accepting of other people’s choices and open to different ideas that go against traditional and social norms. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS), men comprise 10% of all plastic surgery operations. This is triple the amount of men who elected for surgery three decades ago.

It’s Only for the Rich

The proliferation of plastic surgery in pop culture has made it feel less accessible to the average person. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. “Many of our patients don’t come from a background of riches,” says Revivology, an office that specializes in plastic surgery in Utah. In fact, the ASPS found that the majority of people who get plastic surgery are middle-income individuals who use their own disposable income.

Furthermore, many plastic surgeons offer finance options that are flexible for people of all income types and budgets. And non-surgical procedures like Botox are often much more cost-effective than many people think. Always reach out to different surgeons for pricing options to determine what’s best for you. Reconstructive plastic surgery may also be partially covered by your insurance provider.

Wait Until After Menopause

Many people falsely assume it’s best to wait to do plastic surgery until after menopause, namely because it won’t last as long when estrogen is lost. But the truth is, the longevity of a facelift depends on a variety of factors, and menopause isn’t one of those contributing factors. Every patient is different and can benefit from various procedures depending on their unique skin laxity, neck banding, jowling, and much more.

Furthermore, in some cases, waiting until after menopause can actually hurt you. This is because waiting until you’re older requires the skin to be pulled tighter to achieve the desired results. On the other hand, when you’re younger, your the contour improvements you’d like to make are more feasible. Opting for surgery before menopause allows you to maintain results longer, and may even allow it to appear more natural.

Breast Augmentation Isn’t Safe

No surgery is without its risks and precautions. However, breast plants haven’t been given the best reputation. Breast augmentation can be both a form of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery, depending on your situation. For instance, breast reconstruction might help an individual feel better in their skin after a mastectomy, while breast implants are optional surgeries that help an individual boost confidence in their appearance.

Saline implants are generally more well-regarded than silicone, but from a broad perspective, risks are clearly defined, and it remains the most popular cosmetic surgery. Always talk to your plastic surgeon about what you can expect and long term implications your procedure may have.