It’s almost impossible to get away from the hype surrounding plastic surgery and the media’s impact. Who’s getting what done, Snapchat in the operating room, how quickly you can get back to work after having a nip here or a tuck there.
Is all this hype making plastic surgery look too easy? Some doctors think so.
What HASN’T The Media Blown Up?
It would seem the media thrives on blowing things out of proportion lately. From the presidential election to banal national news, the mainstream media employs over-hype daily as it seems to translate into more clicks.
This is no different when plastic surgery is the topic. “I think the media has blown up everything,” says Houston-based plastic surgeon Dr. Camille Cash. “And sensationalizes everything and so there is a certain amount of false expectations that everyone is going to come out and it’s going to be easy and fast and there’s no problem and just come on in and everything’s going to be great.”
Plastic surgery results – especially for celebrities – tend to sway to the negative most times, and random folk who undergo extreme procedures get the spotlight over the thousands of normal procedures done on normal people
“I think it’s important to remember the results and your recovery will be dictated by the quality of your surgeon and the quality of care you receive before and after,” says Cash. “So it’s important to do your homework about what you should expect.’
Have we been fooled about how long it takes to recover from plastic surgery?
Those interested in plastic surgery may come from media stories, and thus may have false expecations – both positive and negative. It’s important to continually realize that whether a procedure involves surgery or just an office visit, ideally the procedure and results will be dependent on your own unique anatomy and the expertise of the physician you see.
“I think the media has maybe painted a false expectation that the recovery time needed for real surgery maybe shorter that what actually happens,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Pinsky. “But I think that in part is fueled by patients who have an interest in having minimally-invasive procedures because those recovery times are minimal.”
How Accurate? Depends a lot on Who’s Publishing What
Some plastic surgeons point pit that patients’ understanding, or misunderstanding, of plastic surgery has a lot to do with the style of the media publication or broadcast programming.
“On one hand media and TV makes plastic surgery look easy – you come in and get this procedure done and you walk out a new person,” says Cash. “And then, on the other hand, you have some television shows that over dramatize the pain or recovery involved with plastic surgery, so there’s a double-edged sword with the exposure of the media.”
Austin-based plastic surgeon Ashley Gordon gets media-influenced requests frequently.
“Of course we have patients who come in with pictures of celebrity breasts, noses, things like that that they like, butts,” says Dr. Gordon. “It hasn’t happened in our practice yet, but I’d probably have to turn down a patient who says he or she wanted to look exactly like a celebrity. That person needs some mental health help instead of a plastic surgeon.”
Reality shows that depict the transformative nature of plastic surgery can indeed spur interest and hope, but again, it’s always an individual situation paired with the consultation patients have with physicians.
“Some of those reality shows are great for showing them the transformation that occurs in plastic surgery,” says Cash. “But they slip right over the recovery period. Especially the first six weeks. So for my patients, I try to educate them. This is an elective procedure, but it’s still surgery and there still are risks. And you’re making an investment in your body so you need to take your time and allow a proper amount of time to heal and recover or else it’s going to jeopardize your results and even your health.”
Whatever entices patients to seek out plastic surgery, at the end of it all, the consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is going to be the deciding factor in what you can and can’t accomplish successfully. Expectations need to be checked, but the likelihood of a tremendously positive outcome is something that happens frequently in the offices of experts.