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Cosmetic Surgery: the New Normal

June 24th, 2015

BCSC lady before

Is Cosmetic Surgery the New Normal?

This week’s Time Magazine cover has a provocative title, Nip Tuck or Else. Author Joel Stein predicts that cosmetic surgery will not only become more common, but those opting to age naturally will be in the minority. While elective cosmetic surgery has lost much of stigma for being exclusively for the rich and famous, I am less convinced that most women will feel compelled to undergo surgery just because it is fashionable.

As a plastic surgeon, I regard surgery as a major decision for my patients and disagree that a nipntuck is the new stylish makeup. However, the non-surgical procedures such as Botox ® and synthetic fillers top more than 5 times the number of surgical procedures like facelifts and breast enlargements. According to Stein, these quick fixes represent a whopping 83% of the treatments done by dermatologists today. There is no doubt that social media has had an impact on the perception of beauty and the constant scrutiny of an increasingly narcissistic society has driven the marketplace. In my opinion, the bottom line is to seek out ethical practioners if you are considering having cosmetic surgery and schedule consultations with Board Certified Physicians. Useful websites to check physician credentials are The American Society for Plastic Surgery and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, both organizations in which I am a member.

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Age of “Selfies”

May 20th, 2014

It’s official; the word “selfie” has been added to our dictionary. Not only has it made a way into our lexicon, I think it mirrors the narcissism of pop culture and our obsession with social media. The unfortunate popularity of reality TV has given rise to a generation of people imitating this self-absorbed behavior. Enter the “selfie,” which often reflects an inflated and grandiose view of the taker. Social media has made it possible for anyone to become a sensation on YouTube, a trending topic on Twitter or gain millions of random followers on Facebook.

Social media has focused superficial attention on looks, spurring a boom in cosmetic surgery. “Seflies” demand an extraordinary critical eye on the part of people posting the photos and often harsher criticism still on the part of the viewers.  For a cosmetic plastic surgeon, our challenge is to effectively evaluate a patient’s reasonable expectations regarding requests for surgery during routine our consultations, because motivations aren’t always forthcoming. So in an age where it seems everybody wants to be a star, at least in his or her own social sphere; I find it’s increasingly important to keep one foot firmly planted in reality!

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