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Cosmetic Surgery Too Much of a Good Thing?

November 26th, 2012

When is cosmetic surgery too much of a good thing? I filmed a segment for the local Fox News Affiliate here in Minneapolis, hosted by Medical Correspondent, Dr. Archelle Georgiou.  They filmed part of the segment while I was performing a lower blephaorplasty or lower eyelid surgery.  My patient did have some other plastic surgery  in the past and while gathering routine background information, Dr. Georgiou inquired whether I felt that the patient was perhaps choosing cosmetic surgery too often.  In other words, did I think the patient suffered from a possible cosmetic surgery addiction?  As with all my patients, I am careful to evaluate a patient’s motivations for surgery and attempt to uncover any unhealthy desires for seeking cosmetic surgery.  In this case, I feel confident that my patient had legitimate concerns regarding the unsightly bags under her eyes and that she was an excellent candidate for eyelid surgery.   She expressed realistic expectations from the surgery and in my opinion; she is certainly not a cosmetic surgery addict.

However, while we are on the topic, let me elaborate. There are several characteristics that are common among cosmetic surgery addicts and for the most part, they are not dissimilar to other addictions.  Patients that have Body Dysmorphic Disorder are likely to seek cosmetic surgery to correct “perceived” physical flaws.   This disorder has significant psychological components and it is unlikely that any amount of cosmetic surgery will correct feelings of having physical deformity that may not exist.  This disorder leads some patients to have excessive cosmetic surgery.    As a physician, I feel a professional and moral obligation  to refer patients that exhibit these difficulties to the proper psychological care when it is appropriate.  

Without a doubt there are patients who do suffer from this problem.  The pop culture media machine is quick to point out the cosmetic surgery obsessions of Michael Jackson, New York’s “Cat Woman” and Joan Rivers, to name just a few.  

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Too Much Botox for France’s First Lady?

April 24th, 2012

Sarkozy couple in Paris 2008. Photo by Reuters

How much is too much Botox? Model Carla Bruni is barely recognizable as the glamorous woman who married Sarkozy in 2008. According to London’s Daily Mail, four years as France’s first lady seemed to have taken their toll on Carla Bruni when she was photographed voting in presidential elections this week. Many suggested that too much Botox and other surgical procedures have transformed her fresh and beautiful model looks into something really strange.  Exit polls correctly predicted that her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, would most likely suffer a defeat in the first round of France’s 2012 presidential election. After his defeat at the polls this week, Sarkozy now faces a run-off vote on May 6.

Carla Bruni voting in France this week.  Photo by AP

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