Cosmetic surgery has become a booming, $10.1 billion business each year in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Women, already 91% of cosmetic patients, are electing to make these quick fixes more than ever, undergoing 5% more procedures in 2010 than the year before.
And it’s not just a nip and tuck to appear younger and fresher: Greater numbers of young women are now going under the knife. Cosmetic procedures are up 4% for women in their 30s, and 30% of all liposuction recipients are ages 19 to 34, reports the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It may indicate a new wave of perfection-seekers, as normal-weight women trim an inch of unwanted fat from their thighs or ditch their miracle bras for larger breasts—now the most popular invasive procedure.
One recent study found that liposuction may slim one problem area while creating another. Women who suction fat from their thighs and lower abdomen ultimately destroy those fat cells. When they eventually put weight back on, it distributes unevenly—often to less flattering areas like the upper abdomen, back and arms.
Dr. Tal T. Roudner’s practice is located in beautiful Coral Gables, Florida and is conveniently accessible from any region in the Miami metro area.
The practice is a spacious state-of-the-art facility that includes an on-site operating room accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
Surgery can be performed on-site in the practice’s own state-of-the-art operating room, Bayside ambulatory center or at one of South Florida’s leading hospitals: Baptist Memorial Hospital, Doctors Hospital, South Miami Hospital, or Mercy Hospital.
Multiple local procedure rooms are available and are fully equipped for minimally invasive, out-patient procedures such as neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport), soft tissue fillers, peels, and skin cancer treatments.
Similarly, Wallace warns that changing one feature sometimes throws off the appearance of others. A tummy tuck may cause the thighs to look out of proportion, while plumped lips may make a normal sized nose suddenly appear obtrusive. She’s seen cases where Botox injections, which paralyze certain facial muscles, caused the other active muscles to appear strangely overpowering and “odd.”
Scarier still are the potential deformities. Marilyn Leisz thought she was undergoing a simple procedure to her eyes; 30 surgeries later she is still unable to blink. Meanwhile, a botched face-lift severely damaged the nerves of British businesswoman Penny Johnson, who lost her business and became a recluse.
If there is a problem and the patient is not emotionally stable or financially secure, “the results can be disastrous,” says Robin Yuan, plastic surgeon and author of Behind the Mask, Beneath the Glitter. A person who is already insecure about an aspect of their appearance may suffer a severe blow to their confidence if the surgery goes awry. At the same time, Yuan says many patients borrow money for the initial surgery. If they need an additional procedure, follow-up costs can devastate their financial lives.
Sometimes a patient—or her doctor—may realize after they’ve invested the money and time into a procedure that they have an underlying issue rather than a physical one. Someone with body dysmorphic disorder, BDD, exaggerates a flaw to the point of delusion, imagining a minor imperfection as a hideous disfigurement. After surgery, they may simply become fixated on another body part. “They develop a new obsession,” Dr. Tal says. “They get the nose fixed, and then it’s the eyebrows. They fix the eyebrows, and then it’s the ears. The perceived abnormality keeps moving.”
At the same time, those that undergo a procedure to gain an edge at work may be stunned to realize that it has instead alienated colleagues. Coworkers may perceive you as vain, manipulative or threatening. Other men may interpret a male colleague’s new head of hair as an unfair advantage, or women may decide a female’s new, larger breasts are an abuse of sexual power. Rather than the toast of the water cooler, “they might become the subject of office gossip,” says Hullett.
Finally, the hidden hazards within the family may be the worst of all. Children who watch a parent or close relative take the drastic measure of surgery can develop a skewed vision of their own bodies that they may never escape. Likewise, women who hope a procedure will help their romantic relationship often receive a rude awakening. According to Hullett, men are especially apt to misunderstand a woman’s motives, believing her to be dissatisfied or interested in attracting other men. In fact, he’s seen more relationships fail rather than flourish after one partner undergoes a major physical change.