Cosmetic surgery misconceptions revealed

LOS ANGELES Like many women who have had kids, Annette Wise never lost her baby fat. And through the years, she's put on more. TV ads about liposuction and tummy tucks made her dream of an easy fix.

"Make me look better. Instant! Presto! Chango!" said Annette.

Annette booked her surgery with the first plastic surgeon she saw. Then she met another doctor who made her realize plastic surgery was the wrong move.

"I think it's a big myth that plastic surgery procedures like tummy tucks and liposuction are designed for weight loss, and they are not," said plastic surgeon Dr. Ivan Thomas.

Dr. Thomas has been doing reconstructive surgery for 30 years. He says the secret to figuring out if you're a tummy-tuck or liposuction candidate is to perform what Dr. Thomas calls a "push test."

"Now if you have visceral fat, that means fat inside the abdomen because of weight problems, you won't be able to push the muscles in," said Dr. Thomas.

Annette failed her push test. This means she has a lot of internal fat, making liposuction and a tummy tuck ineffective. So Annette is postponing her surgery until she can lose some weight.

"I want it to be safe and I want to look good," said Annette.

Another big myth that makes many women hastily rush into surgery is the allure of lasers.

While lasers are well-known for resurfacing, they may cause even more brown spots in women of color.

It's also used to help tighten skin during liposuction, but Dr. Thomas says the results are the same as traditional lipo.

As for lasers being better than a scalpel, Dr. Thomas disagrees.

"It makes no difference in how you cut it," said Dr.Thomas. "One is much more expensive than the other."

Lasers and scalpels may perform the same way, but that's not the case when it comes to injectibles.

"There is a misconception that Botox and fillers are about the same thing. They're actually not," said Dr. Thomas.

Botox is a muscle relaxer injected into the furrow lines between brows. New fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Sculptra fill in and plump up different areas such as laugh lines, crow's feet and lips.

Dr. Thomas says the best way to get educated about the different procedures and what's best for you is to consult three or four different board-certified plastic surgeons.

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