One of the most common statements, comments or ‘requests’ from many patients considering plastic surgery is that they do not want to have a result like a certain celebrity(s). Every plastic surgeon has heard this endless times and the roll call of celebrities who are known for their strikingly obvious surgical changes is well known. It is understandable why a prospective patient would question why celebrities, who usually can afford the ‘best’ doctor, can end up with such undesireable results. Who is to be blamed…the plastic surgeon, patient or both?
One important factor to consider is the uniqueness of the patient. Celebrities, whose career often depends on looking youthful and vibrant, want to hang onto it sometimes at all costs. They may be more pressed because of their status to pursue treatments and surgeries that promise to achieve that goal. ..even if they are new and unproven. The celebrity patient, who had been identified as a cosmetic surgery disaster, may never have known exactly what they wanted. They may have just left it up to the surgeon, had unrealistic goals and even intimidated the surgeon into doing what they wanted by their status or economic resources. Thus they may have been doomed by these issues to having an unnatural result or even after surgery complications.
The average patient tends to approach plastic surgery much more cautiously as they fear looking unnatural or having been ‘done’. They also have more financial constraints and may have to choose fewer procedures to fit within their budgets. This proves that having the money to do anything you want does not necessarily lead one to make better decisions or choices. It also illustrates sometimes in plastic surgery that ‘less is more’. A few well chosen procedures will often produce a more natural result than the commando approach of doing everything that can be done. While these results may often not be as dramatic, they may largely go undetected and look more natural.
As every patient result is a direct reflection of the plastic surgeon doing it, the surgeons themselves must take some of the credit for what one sees in celebrities. I would be quick to point out that there are far more celebrities that have very good and natural results that are complete undetectable than the few who don’t. The celebrity examples of bad plastic surgery are a relatively small number but their societal prominence makes it seem like it happens regularly. But some plastic surgeons do perform bad operations and have suboptimal results as they are just human. The lure of fame and fortune can make it hard for a plastic surgeon to say no to a demanding celebrity. They may fear if they say no they risk losing the patient. Having a celebrity for a patient can be a great boon to a practice.
It is also important to realize that the beauty standards and aesthetic desires of someone in Beverly Hills can be very different from that of Des Moines Iowa or Burlington Vermont. This is a very different world from many people’s every day lives as TV shows and magazines on the rack demonstrate. As a a result, what may look good in one part of the country (or in other countries) may be seen as undesirable in another.
Dr. Barry Eppley