The front page of a newspaper with the headline “Fake News” which illustrates the current phenomena. Front section of newspaper is on top of loosely stacked remainder of newspaper. All visible text is authored by the photographer. Photographed in a studio setting on a white background with a slight wide angle lens.[/caption]Whether it’s about cosmetic surgery or the latest political news, I’m amazed at the fake news and fake information that seems to dominate the TV, Internet, and media. It seems like we are bombarded daily with incorrect information, propaganda, and fake news about so many topics. What led me to write this educational writing was the recent presidential election and political climate. This writing is not about Republican or Democrat. It’s not about one political side or the other. It’s focused on the concept that so many things we read about are slanted, biased, or just blatantly wrong. It was written by me more for fun and entertainment – than to provide a critical learning fact about a specific operation. But, it hopefully encourages all patients to become educated and to learn about the cosmetic operation they want. I call this “Do your homework!” I also will describe this as the “Real-Reality” because it’s the opposite of reality TV and fake news. This writing was written for a patient of mine from Philadelphia, PA.
Once again, this is not about Trump or Hilary. This is not about one political party or the other. This recent political election was a mess, and regardless of your political orientation, most people realize now that fake news and fake information is rampant. And what I love most about this fact—- is the fact that this is nothing new in the cosmetic surgery world!! Fake news and misleading advertising has been the norm in plastic surgery for decades.
Do you remember “I want a famous Face” or “Extreme Makeover?” These were popular TV shows that spear headed the media’s obsession with cosmetic surgery. The plastic surgery news became more and more sensational. And it gradually has become more and more incorrect, misleading, and fake. It’s not just about cosmetic surgery but many aspects of medicine. This includes diets, nutrition, weight loss programs and other medical topics.
One of the best examples of this fake news is weight loss pills. Garcinia is one of the best know of these pills. It was heavily promoted by advertising and TV stars as a pill that you lose multiple pounds a week, without even exercising. Dr. Oz was a major promotor of Garcinia. Think about this. Lose weight without exercising. Just take a pill. The information is totally fake and wrong. Garcinia has been proven to be completely worthless. It was marketed and promoted to make money for people promoting it and manufacturing it. And this profit was at the expense of Americans who weren’t knowledgeable and trusted the wrong people. Americans do have a problem with being overweight. Liposuction and tummy tuck operations are popular in part because of this fact. But the solution to being overweight is not a fake pill.
Do you take vitamins or supplements? I do. But if you do your homework and learn the facts, you might find the information fascinating. Let’s review vitamins and supplements. This is another example where fake news and misleading information are rampant. You can hardly pick up a magazine or watch TV without getting inundated with incorrect or exaggerated information. GNC stores are full of supplements and vitamins that are essentially worthless. This is something many people don’t want to hear. They will state that they saw it in this news source or on the Internet. They will say a friend told them how great this supplement or vitamin works. They want the supplement to be smarter, stronger, energetic, prettier, and more virile. Well, guess what? They don’t work! Yup. All of them don’t work. If you don’t want to believe this, I understand. Because people are baffled or skeptical of this fact. “Of coarse they work; it’s been proven in medical studies,” they say. This is unfortunately not true. Many “medical” studies or famous doctors promoting these products are just trying to make money.
The land-mark medical study on this topic was a Harvard study. It was land-mark because of its complexity and thoroughness. It reviewed decades of supplement studies. It was a meta-analysis study. It looked at which studies were real or genuine. It reviewed studies that were misleading, biased, and wrong. The conclusions were amazing and powerful. No single peer reviewed or randomized study showed any benefits at all. Every single proper and genuine medical study showed absolutely NO VALUE to supplements. The evidence was overwhelming.
This doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t take a multivitamin. Or that some women shouldn’t take vitamins with calcium and iron. The study was not on these essential vitamins. The study was on supplements like ginkgo, garcinia, and chondroitin. Also, taking large doses of vitamins to diminish bruising doesn’t work. Pills to get better from the common cold quicker don’t work either. The Harvard study was so adamant about the results that they recommended it no longer even be studied. Over 40 billion dollars have been spent, and the results are that the supplements don’t work. Wow! It was amazing to me too. My daughter is a first year medical student at Temple. She told me the professors are teaching the future doctors just what I am saying to the medical students. Supplements don’t work!
In addition to weight loss pills and dietary supplements, when it comes to cosmetic surgery, the misleading advertising and information is greatest with liposuction surgery. The fake news is everywhere about this cosmetic operation. You can read about “lunch time liposuction” or “laser liposuction.” You will read on the Internet how you will have a quicker recovery with less or no bruising. Or you will read about liposuction results with this technique or laser that is better, faster, and more perfect. Unfortunately, this is fake news predominantly. It’s mainly misleading advertising. Medical studies have clearly shown that one liposuction technique or method is not superior over another. If it was, then all doctors would use it. Medical studies have been consistent in this result. I find it interesting with certain claims. Smart Lipo is a laser technique that is combined with classic liposuction to remove the fat after the laser. It essentially is extra surgery compared to liposculpting. Studies show increased complications of burning and injury with this technique, that essentially doesn’t happen with liposculpting. The procedure has increased problems and yet it is marketed as having less bruising and quicker healing. The fake news is almost the polar opposite of the “real-reality” or the actual results of the surgery.
In summary, be careful about believing what you read about cosmetic surgery. Just like the daily news on the TV or the political stories we read about everyday, there is a huge amount of fake and misleading news. Do your homework. This means ask questions, read and search reputable medical sources. Get more than one consultation. If you do your homework before undergoing the procedure, you will more likely be happy and satisfied with the results. I give thorough and detailed cosmetic consultations. Please come in and see me for help with your medical journey. For more information on this type of topic you can link to an educational writing on “Doing Your Homework” here.