Bizarre plastic surgery actually gave birth to its own hit show on NBC called “Botched.” Unsuspecting victims of less than scrupulous plastic surgeons are on display along with patients who pursue bizarre transformations on their own. Drs. Dustin Reid, Brian Brzowski and Daniel Maman recently discussed bizarre cases they have personally seen in their own practices that challenge Ripley’s believe it or not.
Do it Yourself Plastic Surgery
Dr. Brzowski who practices in Utah said he was shocked when called to the ER only to find a case, not only out of the ordinary, but completely bizarre. “There was a gentleman who desired breasts, so he injected himself with airplane modeling glue.”
The bizarre beat continued with Dr. Reid’s report from Austin, Texas where he consulted with a woman who came to the hospital with severely infected saline implants. They were deflated. “I asked her how she accomplished that,” said Reid. “Turns out she got a needle and a syringe from a tractor supply company and did it herself. She claimed she was ‘just tired of them.'” She spent one week in the hospital after surgery. Quite an expensive and painful DIY project.
Bizarre Decision Making
Dr. Maman, a plastic surgeon in New York City, warns that situations can quickly become disastrous when patients go to a provider not familiar with plastic surgery, or a non-physician altogether. “We cannot ignore the bizarre decision making that precedes bizarre outcomes,” says Maman. “Decision making like where on my body? Which country to visit for the surgery, and what level of cleanliness or unsterile conditions am I willing to trade off to save money?” Dr. Reid had to rescue a woman who went to Mexico and had silicone injected into her breasts. “Her breasts turned into rocks, and we ultimately had to perform a mastectomy and reconstruction.”
Many patients voice their regrets after insisting on extra-large “balloon” implants, demanding “designer vaginas” or “ordering a nose off what seemed a fast food menu” south of the border. Even celebrities who have all the money and influence at their disposal make bad decisions.
Pricilla Presley, whose face looked strange on “Dancing with the Stars,” went to Dr. Daniel Serrano in 2003. Serrano was a good-looking doctor from Argentina who exploited Hollywood’s social A-list and started giving them what he claimed were miracle injections that worked better than Botox. In fact, Serrano was injecting industrial, low-grade silicone similar to what is used to lubricate auto parts in Argentina into the faces of celebrities. He went to prison, but Pricilla’s face, despite later efforts to reverse his “work,” was ruined.
According to all three doctors on the panel, ignoring red flags can be dangerous and costly. Not seeing a board certified plastic surgeon is the first mistake. Consequences of choosing the wrong practitioner have kept the ‘Botched’ series alive for a fourth season, featuring such cases as the woman with crab claw breasts after an implant removal, another with nipples on her lower abdomen after a reconstruction, sheep fat injected into one woman’s lips, and a man with scars the size of golf balls below his ears.
According to Dr. Brzowski, the take home advice is, “…regardless of whether the bizarre outcomes are creations of the patient or adaptations of the provider…” most can be avoided. There is an old adage: if you can’t be a good example, you might be a terrible warning. It’s important that a distinction is drawn between what can be done and what should be done.
If a plastic surgeon hesitates to recommend a certain procedure or material, there is usually a good reason behind it. “See a board certified plastic surgeon and listen to him or her. You will have a greater chance of being well taken care of with an uneventful recovery, fewer complications and a beautiful result.”