Cosmetic Surgery

THE ART OF PLASTIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY …

Chemical Peel

The problem with plastic surgery reality television shows.

Plastic surgery reality shows and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) made the front page of the Wall Street Journal on April 7, 2010. A flurry of media attention was sparked in large part by the March 30 ASPS press release expressing concern over MTV's new reality show, “I Want a Famous Face" and FOX-TV's, "The Swan," and the potential for such shows to minimize the seriousness of plastic surgery.

The WSJ article, titled, "TV Cuts Both Ways for Plastic Surgeons and for Patients," accurately depicted how ASPS grappled last year with the challenge of taking an official position on the show "Extreme Makeover" in its effort to balance its desire to raise awareness of plastic surgery with concern over supporting a program that potentially could raise ethical concerns for the specialty.

Things to consider about plastic surgery and reality TV shows:

  • With the new reality TV shows, which can trivialize elective cosmetic plastic surgery, it is crucial for patients to remember that plastic surgery is real surgery with real risks, just as with any non-elective operation.
  • Plastic surgery cannot transform people into their favorite celebrity. No matter what procedure is performed, plastic surgeons cannot give their patients Catherine Zeta-Jones' or Tom Cruise's face.
  • Even though reality shows have given the public some additional education on some of the latest cosmetic plastic surgery options, they may have also given unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. Patients need to have realistic expectations about what plastic surgery can do for them.
  • Everyone has unique facial features and bone structures, which influences the outcome of any plastic surgery procedure.

Anyone interested in cosmetic plastic surgery should:

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