If you regularly scroll through online platforms like Tik Tok and YouTube, you’ve likely seen a slew of information on plastic surgery, some good and some bad. While stories focused on botched surgeries and poor outcomes garner significant media attention, they make up the vast minority of cases. To help set the record straight, we’re exploring 4 of the most common plastic surgery myths currently circulating on Tik Tok.
Myth #1: Filler migration is common
As its name implies, filler migration is when dermal filler moves from its injection site. With over 2.3 million views for “#fillermigration” on Tik Tok, it would be easy to assume that filler migration is an everyday occurrence for patients seeking cosmetic enhancements. Although there are currently no hard statistics on the rate at which filler migration occurs, we know this unwanted side effect is extremely rare, and that its likelihood increases when fillers are performed by an underqualified injector.
Additionally, if a filler does migrate, it typically only moves within a few millimeters of where it was injected and does not present a medical concern. It’s also important to keep in mind that some localized swelling is expected in the weeks after filler injection, and this should not be confused with the unwanted lumps and bumps associated with filler migration.
If you think your fillers have migrated or you have had a bad filler experience, a licensed aesthetician or plastic surgeon can use hyaluronidase to reverse HA-based fillers. Or, if you received a filler made from a different material, such as Radiesse or Sculptra Aesthetic, a skilled injector can strategically add fillers or Botox® to improve the appearance of a poorly placed filler or an overfilled area.
Myth #2: BBLs are incredibly dangerous
A Brazilian butt lift is a procedure in which a plastic surgeon liposuctions fat from one area of the body, processes the fat, then injects it into the buttocks. Though it sounds straightforward enough, as we mentioned in our September blog, “Can I Get a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) If I’m Thin?”, the risk of mortality from BBL surgery has proven to be significantly higher than any other cosmetic plastic surgery procedure. However, the problem is not so much the procedure, but rather a critical need for proper technique and safety.
While BBL surgery does carry more risk than other plastic surgeries, it can be significantly minimized by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who utilizes proper techniques.
What Tik Tok horror stories miss is that the procedure can be very safe when performed by the right surgeon. How? A skilled plastic surgeon will only inject fat into the “safe subcutaneous zone,” avoiding the gluteal muscle and arteries, thereby significantly reducing the risk of fat embolism (fat entering the bloodstream and clogging an artery). He or she will also make sure to inject fat in a slow, controlled manner and in small, manageable quantities throughout the buttocks to enhance safety and create a better result.
In sum, getting a BBL doesn’t have to be dangerous. The best way to minimize your risk during Brazilian butt lift surgery is to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing BBLs and other fat transfer procedures.
Myth #3: Breast Implant Illness is common
Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a broad term used to describe immunological symptoms that may be related to breast implants. These symptoms are thought to stem from inflammation, and range from chest pain and anxiety to headaches and nausea.
While BII is a serious medical condition currently undergoing extensive research by the scientific community, and we don’t have hard statistics on how many women with breast implants have developed BII, we know that 98% of augmented women remain satisfied with and experience no health issues from their implants.
That said, it is important for any woman considering breast implants to understand if she might be at increased risk for BII: lifestyle factors and preexisting medical conditions may influence one’s odds of developing symptoms. A 2019 study that examined 200 women diagnosed with BII found that the following factors increased their odds of developing symptoms:
- A family history of autoimmune disease
If you do believe you are experiencing symptoms of BII, or simply no longer want your breast implants, a plastic surgeon can remove your implants via explantation surgery. Though having your implants removed cannot guarantee that your symptoms will be resolved, it will help you determine whether or not they are contributing to your symptoms.
98% of augmented women remain satisfied with and experience no health issues from their implants.
Myth #4: Getting your plastic surgery procedure abroad is a great way to save money
If our discussion of the above three myths didn’t reinforce the importance of choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon for your aesthetic surgery, let us elaborate: attempting to cut costs will almost always come with an increased risk of complications and/or underwhelming results. There are a few reasons for this:
- Having your surgery in another country makes it very difficult to have regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon; it will require a significant amount of time and money to fly back and forth, and it increases your exposure to germs and bacteria. And while many surgeons now offer virtual follow-up appointments, they cannot physically address any postoperative medical complications over the internet. Therefore, if you were to have an issue following your surgery, you would either have to fly back to the country you had surgery in, or see a surgeon in your home state who does not know you, your medical history, or the details of your procedure.
- Surgeons outside the US often operate in unaccredited surgical facilities (or even worse, their offices), and typically use lesser technology and equipment. They also are much less likely to have an appropriate medical support team including licensed nurses, technicians, and a board-certified anesthesiologist working by their side, or other critical safeguards in place.
- Surgeons who lack US-based medical certifications have not passed the rigorous requirements set out by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which include, but are not limited to 5+ years of surgical training after medical school, including a plastic surgery residency program, successful completion of stringent examinations, and participation in continuing education programs.
If you want beautiful results delivered safely and comfortably, skip the trip to Mexico or Costa Rica and choose an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon.
Choose board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Basu for your Houston plastic surgery
Dr. C. Bob Basu is an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston with over 20 years of experience performing surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. He was recently named one of “America’s Best Plastic Surgeons of 2021” by Newsweek Magazine. Dr. Basu’s practice, Basu Aesthetics + Plastic Surgery, has offices located in Cypress and downtown Houston for your convenience. Contact us online or call (713) 799-2278 to schedule your plastic surgery consultation today.