Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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Category: Plastic Surgery Myths

How to Combat the Stigma Around Plastic Surgery

6 Minute Read: 

Doctor wearing scrubs and showing a thumbs up

As the world becomes increasingly focused on physical appearance, it’s no surprise that plastic surgery is becoming more and more popular. However, despite the growing trend, there is still a significant amount of stigma surrounding this type of procedure. From negative stereotypes about vanity to the fear of complications and the unknown, many people are hesitant to explore the idea of plastic surgery themselves. But it’s time to break down these barriers and understand the truth about plastic surgery and how it can benefit individuals. With the help of a renowned plastic surgeon, we did thorough research, and this article will explore some of the most common misconceptions and discuss how to combat the stigma around plastic surgery.

Understanding the stigma around plastic surgery: common misconceptions and myths

Even though plastic surgery is very common in today’s society, there is still an awful amount of stigma and prejudice surrounding it. Somehow, people seem to neglect all the benefits that plastic surgery can provide and that only rare patients end up with a plastic-surgery addiction.

Two men gossiping about a woman that's walking down the street and holding her hands over her face

Although plastic surgery has become very common, there is still a lot of stigma and prejudice around it.

However, there are still ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery. But before we get to that, it’s essential to understand the biggest misconceptions about plastic surgery. Let’s find out what they are.

#1: Plastic surgery is only for the rich and famous

One of the most common misconceptions about plastic surgery is that it’s only for the rich and famous. In reality, anyone can choose to undergo plastic surgery, regardless of their financial situation. Many plastic surgeons offer financing options and payment plans to make the procedure more accessible to a broader range of people.

In addition, insurance may cover certain types of plastic surgery, such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. It’s important to note that plastic surgery is not just a luxury but can also serve as a necessary medical procedure to improve one’s quality of life.

#2: Plastic surgery is only for women

Another common misconception is that plastic surgery is only for women. The truth is that men also seek out plastic surgery procedures. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, men accounted for 14% of all cosmetic procedures in 2020. Men may choose to undergo procedures such as liposuction, eyelid surgery, and facelifts to improve their appearance and boost their confidence. It’s important to note that plastic surgery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and both men and women have the right to choose what makes them feel comfortable in their own skin.

#3: Plastic surgery is always invasive

Many believe plastic surgery is always invasive and requires a long recovery period. However, this is not always the case. Many non-invasive procedures, such as Botox, fillers, and laser treatments, can be performed. These procedures have minimal downtime, and patients can often return to normal activities immediately after the procedure.

Person injecting a lip filler into a woman's lips

Plenty of non-invasive procedures will give you amazing results without any need for recovery or downtime.

Additionally, many invasive procedures can now be performed with minimal incisions and less discomfort, thanks to technological advancements. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your recovery as seriously. For example, if you go through breast reduction surgery, you need to be mindful and not lift anything heavy for a while. Even if it’s an absolute must, the expert team from Zapt Movers advises hiring furniture movers. That way, you’ll avoid potential injuries and be able to focus on your recovery while pros do all the heavy lifting for you.

Ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery

Plastic surgery is not just about vanity; it’s about improving one’s life. It’s time to break down the negative stereotypes and misconceptions that hold people back from exploring the benefits of plastic surgery. In this section, we’ll uncover ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery that will, hopefully, help you make an informed decision and feel confident in your choice.

#1 Education and openness

One of the best ways to combat the stigma surrounding plastic surgery is through education and openness. Many people are hesitant to talk about plastic surgery because they fear being judged or misunderstood. However, by educating ourselves and others about the facts and benefits of plastic surgery, we can break down these barriers and open up a more accepting dialogue.

One way to do this is by sharing your personal experiences. If you have undergone plastic surgery, be open and honest about your decision and the positive results it has had on your life. Share your story and help others understand that plastic surgery is not something to be ashamed of.

Another way to promote education and openness is by encouraging others to do their research. Plastic surgery is a big decision, and it’s vital that individuals understand all the facts before making a decision. Encourage people to research different procedures, speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon, and understand the risks and benefits of each procedure.

#2 Showcasing the positive impact

Another way to combat the stigma surrounding plastic surgery is by showcasing the positive impact it can have on individuals. Many people who undergo plastic surgery do so to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. They may have been self-conscious about a certain body part or feature, and plastic surgery has helped them to feel more comfortable in their own skin. By highlighting these positive stories and the emotional benefits of plastic surgery, we can help to change the way people perceive it.

#3 Changing the language

The language we use when talking about plastic surgery can also contribute to the stigma. Phrases like “going under the knife” or “fake and unnatural” can perpetuate negative stereotypes and make people feel ashamed for considering plastic surgery.

To combat this, we can change the language we use when talking about plastic surgery. Instead of “going under the knife,” we can say “undergoing a procedure.” Instead of “fake and unnatural,” we can say “enhancing or improving one’s appearance.” Using more positive and neutral language can change how people think and talk about plastic surgery.

#4 Debunking myths

Finally, another way to combat the stigma surrounding plastic surgery is by debunking myths and misconceptions. As mentioned earlier in the article, there are many misconceptions about plastic surgery, such as it is only for the rich and famous or that it’s always invasive.

Two women sitting at a table and talking about ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery

One of the best ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery is to talk openly about it.

By providing accurate information and dispelling these myths, we can help to change the way people perceive plastic surgery. We can also help people understand that plastic surgery is not something to be feared or ashamed of but rather a personal decision that can positively impact one’s life.

Wrapping up

Plastic surgery is a personal decision that should be made after careful consideration and research. Whether it’s a Mommy Makeover surgery, liposuction, or just a few shots of BOTOX® Cosmetic, everyone has the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. It’s not a luxury but can also serve as a necessary medical procedure to improve one’s quality of life. By finding ways to combat the stigma around plastic surgery, we can help break down these barriers and create a more accepting attitude towards these procedures.

7 Common Myths About Plastic Surgery

6 Minute Read: 

A woman in a black bra and black pants holding the measuring tape


When you look up information about plastic surgery, you’ll find out that much of the information out there is oversimplified, inaccurate, or false. The undisputed fact is that plastic surgeries are becoming more and more popular around the world. The importance of these procedures is not only the aesthetics but also the improvement of someone’s quality of life. For some, even, it’s a medical necessity.  In this article, we’ll try to help you by debunking seven common myths about plastic surgery.

#1 Plastic Surgery = Cosmetic Surgery

Most people don’t know the difference between these two terms, but there are several important distinctions between them. The goal of plastic surgery is “a repair” and enhancement, so it basically has a cosmetic element. Still, there is more to it.

To do a job as a plastic surgeon, one needs to earn a specialist degree and get many years of training. Also, they need additional accreditation. On the other hand, most types of cosmetic surgery can be performed by any doctor. The only additional training a cosmetic surgeon may have, asides from the basic medical degree, is a short course as a qualification. Physicians from various disciplines may have some training in cosmetic surgery. For example, an ophthalmologist can learn to perform specific cosmetic procedures around the eyes.

#2 Plastic Surgery Is Only for the Rich or Celebrities

Puffing up lips or smoothing out wrinkles is not an advantage available only to “chosen ones.” Plastic surgeries can also benefit ordinary people.

For example, a breast reduction surgery helps women reduce back pain, improve their day-to-day comfort, and help them with sleep. Scar treatment is a procedure affordable to almost anyone with an average salary. It reduces the size of a scar and improves its appearance. And, there are procedures such as surgical skin cancer removal, which removes dangerous growths. Not everything is about wanting “a doll” look or trying to look ten years younger.

Medical professional doing liposuction on a patient

*Models—Plastic surgery, such as liposuction, can help everyday people—it’s not only for the rich and famous.

#3 There Is No Other Barrier to Plastic Surgery Except the Cost

Whether or not you can afford plastic surgery is not the only issue you need to consider. Pre-surgical counseling is necessary before one alters his or her appearance. You need to discuss these key points with your surgeon:

  • What the surgery can accomplish
  • Evaluation of your expectations
  • How emotionally stable you are
  • Whether you really want the operation or you are being coerced

Many women consider breast augmentation only because of their husband’s wish. A teenager sometimes gets a rhinoplasty at the urging of their parents. In reconstructive procedures, a patient needs to know the cost, what rehabilitation will involve, and how likely the surgery is to be successful.

Some changes are easier to make than others. You can change your job, styling, car; you can get a relocation organized in no time. However, changes that involve plastic surgery can be a lengthy process, so make sure you’re fully committed before making such a decision.

#4 Plastic Surgery Is Only for Women

One of the most typical myths about plastic surgery is that those kinds of procedures are not common for men. Indeed, women still make up most plastic surgery patients, but more and more men are deciding to undergo surgical procedures. Men of all ages are becoming more comfortable with liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), muscle-enhancing surgery, rhinoplasty, and gynecomastia (a treatment of enlarged congenital breasts).

 #5 Diet and Exercise Can Have the Same Results as Plastic Surgery

A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise is not up for discussion and can benefit almost anyone. Therefore, doctors advise all patients to pay attention to their nutrition as well as their physical activity. However, when it comes to aging, pregnancy, breastfeeding, significant weight loss, etc., there is little diet and exercise can do, no matter how hard and how long you try. Plastic surgery is an excellent option for those who aren’t seeing the results they want with a healthy lifestyle.

Many procedures can address problem areas and give a patient the appearance and silhouette they desire. A great example is a tummy tuck procedure that removes excess skin, eliminates stretch marks, or tightens abdominal muscles – which is very hard or almost impossible to get only with a balanced diet and exercise.

Vegetable salad in bowls

Everybody should pay attention to their nutrition, but for those who aren’t seeing results, plastic surgery is a solution.

#6 Breast Augmentation Is a Once-and-Done Procedure

The most popular surgical procedure is breast augmentation. Therefore, the most common myths about plastic surgery are related to this procedure. Breast augmentation isn’t a once-and-done procedure since all breast implants have a limited lifespan. Most implants have a shelf-life of around ten years. If they degrade, or if the material hardens or ruptures, you should replace them even sooner. An implant’s projected life span is not an expiration date. How long an implant will last will depend upon many factors.

You can’t avoid your environment and genetics taking their toll, so they will eventually affect aesthetics. There’s no set time when implants have to be taken out. Therefore a patient needs to be followed and examined. Following your surgeon’s advice, you should go to a revisional surgery to evaluate the condition of your implants. After the evaluation, your plastic surgeon will replace any implants that have reached the end of their lifespan.

#7 Breast Implants Prevent You from Breastfeeding and Increase Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

According to studies, breastfeeding with implants is safe. However, keep in mind that breast milk could absorb some of the silicone from breast implants, but that amount isn’t considered harmful to your baby. Since breast milk is the best thing you can feed your infant, women with breast implants are encouraged to breastfeed if they’re able to do so.

Also, various studies show that breast implants do not cause breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence. Just remember, it’s still essential to undergo routine screening for breast cancer(regular breast self-exams, mammograms, and clinical breast exams), just as it is for women who don’t have breast implants.


Plastic surgery can definitely change someone’s life for the better. Before deciding to undergo such a procedure, inform yourself well, and debunk all myths about plastic surgery that you plan on doing. Do detailed research about the best surgeons in your area, and consult about your expectations and hopes – so the end result can be a success.

If you are interested in learning more, contact Dr. Wald by calling (714) 312-3549 or filling out our online contact form. Dr. Wald offers breast, body, and facial enhancement procedures for patients in Fullerton, California.

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Robert Wald, MD
100 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Suite 300
Fullerton, CA 92835

Phone: 714-312-3549
Fax: 714-738-1862

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