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What Can go Wrong in Plastic Surgery?

Updated on January 6, 2015

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers - Then and Now - her face has lost all expression!
Joan Rivers - Then and Now - her face has lost all expression!

Jocelyn Wildenstein - 'Cat Woman'

A few steps too far!  She started Cosmetic Surgery to keep her straying husband but he left her anyway.
A few steps too far! She started Cosmetic Surgery to keep her straying husband but he left her anyway.

Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery - look again before opting in

Listening to talk radio during a discussion on breast augmentation - I was surprised at the number of men who phoned to say that breast augmentation did nothing for the feel of the breast. They complained that the breast did not feel normal - the vote was for natural rather than augmented!

I believe that cosmetic procedures have increased by 300% since 2003 according to statistics in the UK and 90% of these procedures were carried out on women, the five most popular procedures are:

Breast Augmentation
Eyelid Surgery
Face and neck Surgery
Tummy tucks
Breast Reduction

For men, the five most common are:

Rhinoplasty - nose reshaping
Eyelid surgery
Ear Pinning
Male Breast Reduction

Cosmetic surgery is different to plastic surgery in that the plastic surgeon will repair damaged skin and tissue following injury or illness. Reconstructive surgery is undertaken after major injuries or a removal of something resulting from cancer. Whilst cosmetic surgery is often carried out to change a person’s appearance to fulfill what they believe, is a more desirable look. In certain situations, cosmetic surgery may be needed for functional reasons a good example is breast reduction, which may alleviate back or neck pain.

That being said, let us talk about elective cosmetic surgery that is undertaken because someone is bothered about their age and the wrinkles on their skin, the shape of their nose, or a fat, flabby tummy.

While we all have things we want to change - right now I’d be happy with a tummy tuck and a mini face lift - just the bottom half to take away the lines, an eyelid lift as my eyelids are quite heavy, and this is all due to age! Given the choice, I'm not sure I would go ahead and do it - I am generally satisfied with who I am and the age I am.

A friend of mine had a tummy tuck - an extremely painful and costly exercise. However, now she is back to the same size she was before, why? She has had, and continues to have, troubles in her marriage and I believe she went into this thinking an improved figure will please her husband. As she has not been a slim women since her teen years - I don’t believe this worried him particularly.

In my friend’s case a psychologist will be of more help. She believes she does not have anything to offer no matter what one says to her. It is her mind, her lack of self-confidence, and self worth that causes her problems and a surgeon’s knife cannot help her - it possibly could worsen the situation. My friend now deals with the aspect of having had this operation, she looked good for nearly a year and as she could not follow the surgeon's instructions, she is now back to where she was before except for the added guilt. After going through all that pain, she is now back to where she was before - so she failed at that too.

I am not saying that this is the norm in every case - cosmetic surgery will only fix the physical; the mental problems will remain.
On the other side, another friend was divorced as her husband chased after a younger woman. As she is a therapist herself, she had her self-belief in the right place. She had a breast reduction to ease her back pain (her husband did not want her to reduce the size - excuse me?), and eyelid surgery . She feels elated, and looks wonderfully refreshed.

The horror of Pete Burns Plastic Surgery

Betty White

Looking radiant and full of mischief!
Looking radiant and full of mischief!

Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren is confident enough to be just who she is and wear her life experiences and now serenity on her lovely face
Dame Helen Mirren is confident enough to be just who she is and wear her life experiences and now serenity on her lovely face

Nature or .....face Lifts?

I have seen several of my more wealthy acquaintances have face lifts - while one looks good, she specifically asked for ‘just a little’ or a mini-type face lift, the other looks stretched, the expression and softness gone from her face.

A perfect, line-free, and characterless face - that may make her happy, but her family are taking some time to get to know this new person, whose life is no longer written on her face. A vacant canvas - where the soft gentleness and character no longer shines. Her lips are stuffed with filler, as lips thin with age - but the softness of a person's filled lips harden, and even a kiss on a cheek feels plastic.

We have all seen what has happened to Hollywood faces when they go too far - Cher, Janet Jackson, Priscilla Presley, Melanie Griffith, and Joan Rivers, and men such as Kenny Rodgers, Sylvester Stallone are there to show us what not to do.

When looking at Betty White on television - she is as old as she is and just radiates beauty, warmth, and expression. Don't forget Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, both lovely looking women who have the confidence to remain the age they are and their expression and beauty is still visible.

Leaving the extremes alone, most people feel better about themselves after surgery and report an improvement in their self-esteem, social confidence, and quality of life.

Looking through websites on cosmetic surgery, and listening to those we have had procedures, do yourself a favour please and think about the following questions:

• Am I having cosmetic surgery to please Myself or Others? Please ensure you are not doing it for someone else and your reasoning is honest and sound.

• Do I have Realistic Expectations - it can only improve your appearance but won’t restore lost youth?

• Am I Emotionally Stable - I haven’t just been through a crisis or upheaval such as death of a spouse, divorce or job loss. Rather delay the operation if you are under pressure or preoccupied.

• Am I prepared for a Major Change and how will I adjust to the change in my body image?

• Am I prepared for Unexpected Results? As with all things in life there is no guarantee - and although the unexpected is rare, it will cause great distress if it happens.

• Who will be there for me on during my Recovery? Ensure someone supportive will attend to you - keep those that make fun of you far away at this stage.

• Have I listened to the Risks the Surgeon explained to me? There are general risks related to anesthetics, possible blood loss, infection, slow healing, numbness, etc.

• Do I have enough Money to fully cover the costs of the surgeon, hospital fees and any extras that may occur?

If you are happy and know you have made sound judgement calls - then wow, a long term bug bear is finally going to be taken away - enjoy the new you. You should already be confident, have many friends and are successful at what you do, if this is so then naturally, your self-esteem will only grow with your decision to improve nature’s bounty!

How Many Times has Your Surgeon Done this Op?

Check on your surgeon's credentials
Check on your surgeon's credentials

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    • profile image

      CyninOregon 14 months ago

      One evening, my roommate from school and I were in the restroom of her office building by a large mirror, when she told me to watch her as she placed her fingers against the sides of her face just behind her cheekbones under her eyes. She pushed her skin up and back, just half an inch at most, and suddenly there was the girl who kept me up all night laughing about our terrible dates or listening to her cry about never finding a husband. We were turning thirty about that time, feeling so old, but really still kids....working in careers, but no kids and none of the experiences that actually age a person beyond their control.

      Just that little pressure could bring back the youthful faces we had at 21! Do it yourself--and then try to pass judgment on those who have the money and hire a doctor to make the reversion permanent. I've never even visited a plastic surgeon, but I can't say I wouldn't have a simple lift if I had the money movie stars do! Seeing my old/young face makes me wish I'd appreciated it more when I had it! And seeing that young face on a close friend reminded me of great memories and times I miss more than the youth.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      FlourishAnyway, love your reply, couldn't agree with you more. We've earned the character in our faces!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Ooooh you have an excellent point here. Seventy year old skin pulled real tight just aintt right. There's a certain grace to aging naturally. We need to wear our experience like battlefield scars -- proudly. We earned it.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Rebecca2904, Thank you for sharing. I must agree with you it is all in your own head, as your boyfriend is with you and happy! I could also think of a few parts of me that could do with a change, lift, etc., but then I wouldn't be me, I'd be a better looking, younger version of old me! Ha Ha.

    • Rebecca2904 profile image

      Rebecca 5 years ago

      Great hub! I think that most people have plastic surgery because of self-esteem issues, which is quite sad. I think that all people, if they take care of themselves properly, are beautiful the way nature intended. I know a lot of my friends who would have plastic surgery if they could - my best friend would want a breast augmentation, her sister would want rhinoplasty, and my mum would want an eyelid lift - and I have to ask myself why? I think as soon as you get to know someone, you see them less for what they look like and more for who they are - a perfectly pretty girl might seem ugly if she's not very nice, whereas someone who's a bit plain might seem beautiful if they're a lovely person. I'm not going to think any differently of my best friend if she gets big boobs and I think it would be a crying shame if her sister got a plain old boring nose like mine - I love a distinguished nose!

      I just wish I could follow my own advice! I would love to have a boob job if I had the money and wasn't scared of something going wrong, and I know that's just because of my own insecurities. It wouldn't make that much of a difference to the way I look - who would really see it anyway?- and even though I think it would, I know it wouldn't make me a more complete or a happier person. Even though I know my boyfriend prefers bigger boobs, he says mine are just fine and that he doesn't want me to have a boob job, so I just have to keep reminding myself that it's all in my head and that there's nothing wrong with the way I was made.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      There are times that I look in the mirror with distress. But all in all, I believe the natural process of aging is beautiful in itself. Thanks for highlighting the classy women above who chose to just be themselves. Great Hub - voted up and away.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      So true...we have to fix what we are inside first and that's the most important! Cosmetic surgery can be a frightening proposition, considering that we all heal differently and the results aren't always predictable. Love the photos of the beautiful mature women. : )

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 6 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      I think Betty White is just beautiful! She looks so alive and free.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 6 years ago

      Quite agree with you. Thank you for commenting, its so exciting to have some do that for me!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Very interesting. Joan Rivers should have stopped several surgeries ago. She looks worse now. I would say Jocelyn Wildenstein has some serious mental issues. Wow, she is just scary. Too bad. UP+. It is too bad that society won't allow us to age as we should.

    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      So useful and such a great hub. Very interesting on that Joan Rivers photo, which is provoking and kinda scary. Loved your writing and welcome to hubpages, I will look forward to your future hubs.