Cosmetic surgery does not come with an eraser
From the NY Times piece, this patient says she knows it sounds crazy, but she'd be happier looking more like Heather Locklear.
Last week, the New York Times posted an article titled 'That Nose, That Chin, Those Lips', looking at ordinary people who have cosmetic surgery to try and look like specific celebrities.
The decision to have plastic surgery, for whatever reason is highly personal. It is my philosophy to help the patient achieve a safe outcome and an outcome that matches the goals.
It is also my responsibility to ask probing questions and perform an appropriate examination in order to understand what the goals are, and what can be achieved, as each person is unique. Although I am never judgmental, I do serve as somewhat of a "spiritual" guide throughout the process, to help guide the patient to the desired goal.
Safety is always my first responsibility. Additionally, I believe that since cosmetic surgery is elective, it is also my responsibility to perform to the best of my ability, and to do so within the confines of my values. For this reason, I choose not to do procedures that will distort a persons appearance.
In the NY Times piece, ASAPS spokesman and Santa Monica plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Teitelbaum reminds us of the sad evolution of Michael Jackson's appearance over time. “You can go much farther to mimic features of a Michael Jackson, who is himself a plastic surgical joke, than to create a resemblance to someone who has never had surgery."
Austin plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Walden shares my view that as plastic surgeons "part of our duty is to guide patients back to the path of what is realistic for them to expect from a surgery given their pre-existing anatomy and morphology of a particular body part such as their breasts, nose, or face."
Surgery does not come with an eraser, and sometimes a "do-over" is not possible. It wouldn't be considered weird or unhealthy to bring along photos of aesthetically pleasing noses or chins or breasts to a consultation appointment, but asking for specific changes to your appearance to really look like the celebrity, that's heading into different territory.
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