Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Extreme Plastic Surgery: How Much Is Too Much?

Body Dysmorphia continued...

Phillips and her colleagues studied 200 people with BDD who had cosmetic surgery or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. Only 2% of them had even slight improvement in their BDD symptoms after their procedures. Even when their obsession eases, Phillips says they often switch their focus to another body part.

Her study also found that, of the 200 patients in the survey, only one-quarter were refused cosmetic treatment at some point by physicians. Surgeons were less likely to turn down surgical treatments than minimally invasive procedures.

The ASPS trains its members to recognize people who may have body dysmorphic disorder, who often have multiple surgeries on the same body part. They will sometimes try to hide the other surgeries, or they will claim previous procedures have been botched and "heap a lot of praise," Haeck says, on the new surgeon, saying he or she will be the one to get it right.

"Any surgeon who has been through this once regrets operating on someone with body dysmorphic disorder," Haeck says. If you're obsessed with any part of your body, consider delaying your cosmetic surgery plans until you've talked to a counselor. Getting clear about those issues may help you appreciate any procedure you eventually decide to get.

Before you get a cosmetic procedure done, you'll consult with your surgeon. At the consultation, you should talk to them about your goals and your motivation for getting the procedure. You should make sure your expectations are in line with the likely results, and that you understand the risks.  

Health Risks

Reath says that there aren’t a lot of major health risks if you're in good health. Still, problems can happen.

Liposuction, for instance, can be done safely as long as only a certain amount of fat is being taken out. The risk increases, he says, if the amount becomes excessive.

Doctors also have to be careful not to do too much of anything at one time. "Surgeon fatigue is a consideration," Reath says. "No one is as sharp in their eighth hour as they are in their first hour."

Scar tissue and tissue that dies during the healing process can become an unhealthy issue after multiple surgeries.  Breathing problems can happen after too many nose surgeries, and people can have dry corneas, which cause eye damage, from eye lifts. Infection is also a risk with any surgery.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site HONcode Seal AdChoices