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Heidi Montag-10 Procedures Too Many?

November 26th, 2012

A past issue of    People Magazine  features the photo of Heidi Montag and the headline about having multiple cosmetic surgeries.   The article “reports” on the 10 cosmetic surgery procedures Heidi Montag had.   While most people usually choose not to disclose such information, Heidi appears to have been quite cooperative in the story.   The Huffington Post has published the “staged” before and after photos of Ms. Montag.  The questions remains, why were identically posed before and after photos made available to the press?   A logical explanation has since been reported that the surgical event was nothing more than a publicity stunt orchestrated by the actor and her doctor.   Hollywood thrives on this stuff.  This Us Magazine cover featured her, as well.

 And it has obviously worked!   But a firestorm of criticism and discussion followed the report and Heidi has since voiced regret.   Questions of addiction or obsession with plastic surgery have even surfaced and the media is quick to point to this growing trend in their Hollywood Plastic Surgery Hall of Fame.

My opinion is that this might be about an addiction or obsession, but more specifically, it is more about getting attention.    It is never a good idea to undergo so many surgeries at one time.   Luckily for the 23 year old, Heidi apparently didn’t have complications.   However, she has faded from the limelight.

The likelihood of having something going wrong skyrockets when multiple surgeries are performed.   I choose to be considerably more cautious when it comes to doing multiple procedures.

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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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