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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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Trophy Husbands: More Men Getting “Nipntucks”

August 11th, 2011

Lots of people want to look younger.   The middle-age crisis is certainly not new, however, now we have another twist.   A new social trend that has people talking is the Trophy Husband!

According to a recent article by Kate  Rogers, a Fox Business reporter, men in their 50s and 60s sheepishly accompanying their wives to the cosmetic surgery office to ultimately see what can be done to turn back the clock on their own faces and bodies.   I have indeed had few female patients come to my office for a consultation and then have their spouse ask about nipntucks for themselves.  Perhaps it is less intimidating than for a man coming in alone.   Sometimes it is the woman urging the consultation to “refresh” her mate.   At any rate, it is a delicate situation, as I firmly believe that the most appropriate surgery is done when the patient is personally motivated to seek a surgical cosmetic change.

 

Men had 1.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2010.   Of the million plus procedures about 200,000 were surgical, but the majority (over 900,000 patients) currently opt for the less-invasive procedures like Botox ®.  I have also noticed a slight increase for men coming into my office requesting a chat about facial rejuvenation. The most popular procedures asked about are eyelid surgeries to lift hooded lids, facelifts and liposuction.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, women still dominate the world of plastic surgery by a wide margin.   This is conclusion is reflected in my own practice, as well.

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