In the news again, Heidi Montag admitted recently that she regrets her extensive plastic surgery. Time and time again the media focuses on the extreme; who has the biggest, most absurd breasts, whose face is the most windblown, and whose lips make viewers recoil the most.
The average plastic surgery story is boring. A normal person who received cosmetic surgery that helped them simply look better is the ideal outcome, and the kind of results great plastic surgeons and patients are looking for!
Plastic Surgery as a Prescription for Mental Health?
Plastic surgery arguably serves a purpose by helping people to feel better about themselves and gain a new amount of confidence. This beneficial aspect can easily be taken to the extremes however, as can be seen by the parody of results found across the media. Celebrities and even people made famous only from their surgeries show repeatedly that the attention-seeking nature of augmentation can have severe downsides.
“It’s a really hard issue because we see many people getting plastic surgery to gain attention,” explains Dr. Clark. “[They’re’] getting plastic surgery because there’s other issues going on in their life that makes them unhappy.”
As for Heidi Montag, she shared regret and a wish to have not had such a major breast augmentation. This sentiment can be common by those who were unguided in their cosmetic surgery process.
“I think she’s a great lesson that everybody needs to learn,” says Clark. “There’s a lot of happiness that comes out of plastic surgery. There’s a lot of healthy improvement in body image. Then there are people who become somewhat of an avatar of themselves. I think you’ve taken a very fresh, beautiful woman and made her look like she’s had plastic surgery. I don’t think that’s what it’s all about.”
The Line Separating Great Results from Extreme Results
A bit here and some more there can be the difference between an artificial-looking result and a natural result. The finesse and artistic eye required to control the procedure is a major reason why consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon is ideal.
“[For cases like Heidi Montag], I think it’s a matter of extremes,” says Dr. Van Natta. “You can take something good and push it to limits that really don’t serve you well.”
When determining why some patients receive natural results and others absurd outcomes, one has to wonder who is in control in that situation?
“Is it the patient’s choice?” asks Van Natta. “And what responsibility do you and I have? I tell patients sometimes you’re like kids at Christmas. We’re supposed to be the adult in the room to help guide some wise choices.”
A Match of Artistry and Common Sense
Immense experience and training allows for surgical procedures to be performed effectively and safely. And yet, artistry is perhaps what guides where the line is drawn between a beautiful result and an augmented look. The final say? Common sense.
“I think a little common sense on both sides of the equation could go a long way,” says Van Natta. Common sense from the surgeon to know when too much is too much, and common sense for the patient to understand perhaps their request is not feasible.
The pairing of the two is where great, natural results are derived. When heralded by a board certified plastic surgeon, this is the environment from which patients will reenter their world looking beautiful and not augmented.