David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

Test Your Plastic Surgery IQ. Take Our Quiz.


How much do you really know about plastic surgery? Separate fact from fiction by taking our quiz. You may be very surprised at some of the answers. When you’re finished, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of page to learn more. Good Luck! Here goes…

1. Physicians without surgical training can legally perform plastic surgery.

SCARY BUT TRUE! There are no regulations governing who can perform plastic surgery procedures. Likewise, some practitioners perform plastic surgery in non-accredited facilities in an effort to reduce cost. ASPS member surgeons are all board-certified in plastic surgery and only perform surgery in accredited facilities.

2. If you have had Botox, you can no longer make facial expressions (even if you try really hard).

FALSE. The bottom line is that Botox is a technique-sensitive procedure requiring artistry, knowledge of facial anatomy and good judgment. When administered by an experienced injector, the results look natural and you will not lose the ability to show expression. You’ll just look younger.

3. If a plastic surgery procedure sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

TRUE! Be wary of procedures that market phenomenal results with minimal surgery and little recovery time. If a plastic surgery procedure is safe and effective, all board-certified plastic surgeons will offer it.

4. Fat comes back after liposuction.

FALSE. Adults don’t produce any new fat cells. The fat cells you have just get bigger or smaller depending on your weight. Once fat cells are removed they’re gone forever. Weight gain can occur after liposuction if you don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it will be distributed among the fat cells left behind after the surgery. That’s why it remains important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly after your surgery.

5. The majority of working men and women believe that personal appearance affects their ability to succeed professionally.

TRUE. In recent consumer surveys, 83 percent of men say personal appearance plays a role in their professional success and advancement, and 73 percent of women believe that having cosmetic medical procedures can boost a person’s confidence.

6. Breast augmentation will fix droopy breasts.

FALSE. Some inexperienced physicians will try to use large implants when the nipple sags below the natural crease beneath the breast. The results are breasts that are too big without a pleasing shape and perkiness. A breast lift, with or without implants, is the only way to improve the shape of a droopy breast.

7. Most Americans age equally on both sides of their face.

FALSE. Actually, most Americans age more on the left side of their face than the right. Why? The reason might surprise you. The left side of your face is exposed to the sun’s rays, which penetrate and are magnified through the driver’s side window. Yet another reason to wear sun protection whether or not you are planning to be outside! And in case you’re wondering, the British, who drive on the other side of the road, age more on the right side of their face.

8. A hidden benefit of laser hair removal is that the dark shadow underneath the hair that is treated will also go away.

TRUE! After shaving, you may notice that you have a dark shadow under your arms. This shadow is caused by a pigment called melanin, which is at the root of the hair in the hair follicle. Since laser hair removal targets melanin, you can say “bye-bye” to that shadow along with your unwanted hair.

9. Elective cosmetic surgery is not recommended for people over the age of 65.

FALSE. Overall health is much more important than age alone. Health is a function of cardiovascular fitness, current medical diseases, and perhaps inheritance (like a very strong family history of heart disease). By this logic, a 70-year-old may be a candidate for a procedure while a 50-year-old is not. That’s why it’s more valuable to think in terms of physiological, not chronological age. If your health is good, your age is not too important.

10. Cleansing your face before you go to bed is over-rated.

FALSE. YOUR MOM WAS RIGHT. Think about what your skin is exposed to during the day: makeup, oil, and environmental pollutants. These irritants gather on the skin and attract harmful free radicals which lead to collagen breakdown, aging your skin faster. They also seep into pores, causing breakouts and blackheads. Did you know that cell turnover is more active while we sleep as our skin takes advantage of this time to naturally rejuvenate and heal itself? This natural anti-aging process just isn’t effective if your skin isn’t clean. Removing your makeup before you head to bed is an indispensable step if you care about the future of your skin.

11. There are more teenage boys having chest reduction surgery for gynecomastia than there are teenage girls having breast augmentation surgery.

TRUE. Chest reduction surgery for boys is one of the most frequently performed operations in this age group. There were almost twice as many boys who had surgery to correct gynecomastia than there were girls having breast augmentation. Despite the stories you see on TV, teenagers account for only 5% of the elective cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States.

12. Patients should be cautioned about the safety of Brazilian Butt Lifts.

TRUE. The Brazilian Butt Lift is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic operations in this country, but one that Dr. Reath does not perform. Basically, it involves removing fat from one area of the body with liposuction, and injecting it deep into the gluteal musculature. However, there are very large veins in this area that carry the blood directly back to the heart. The problem is that if fat is injected into one of these veins it can flow directly into the heart and cause it to stop. If this happens, it is nearly impossible to get the heart started again. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is recommending that its members reconsider performing this procedure.


Want to learn more about some of the answers to the plastic surgery quiz? Check out these helpful resources.

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