“Overdone” – Botox and Dermal Filler Abuse in Plastic Surgery

A recent article in Allure magazine addresses an issue I believe many of us have been concerned and curious about. You likely have the friend, or a friend of the friend that looks fabulously younger and refreshed after one or two trips to the plastic surgeons office. But then after that, certain features continue getting larger and more filled every time you see her until, not-so-suddenly, she looks completely plastic.

In “Overdone”, the author starts out by saying “More women are asking their doctors for so much cosmetic filler that they end up looking unnatural – even unhuman. What are they thinking, and what do they see in the mirror?” And why are plastic surgeons allowing this? Allure goes behind the scenes with doctors and patients to find out why so many are going so far.

And even though you may have the friend that looks this way, you likely haven’t said anything. And no one has likely said anything to her, especially strangers, with the good sense not to tell someone to their face what they honestly think about their appearance. Joan Kron tells the story of a 36-year-old nurse in New York City and a stranger on the subway who did just that. After this stranger had been making many derogatory remarks, she’d had enough and said something. “I stood up and told the woman she was being offensive and when I did that, she got in my face calling me a plastic-surgery b@%$# with a plastic-surgery face!”.

She was shocked and was crying, mostly because she hadn’t had any cosmetic fillers in over a year and still looked completely obvious to a stranger. “I thought I looked normal, but I guess I don’t know what normal is anymore.”

We see that more and more with celebrities, especially on reality tv, and now in our social circles when it comes to aesthetic enhancement these days. By some estimations, you could say we live in an era of “volume abuse”, to borrow a phrase from Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Lawrence Koplin. Because dermal fillers can be injected with instant results in one quick treatment with no downtime, they’ve understandably become wildly popular for millions of men and woman. It’s the shot of instant gratification that keeps many coming back for more, but sometimes too often. Part of the problem is that patients no longer see themselves as others do and look in the mirror seeing only what they wish to see. Their image of themselves becomes distorted, to a certain degree. The more Botox®and juvederm, the better!

Another factor is the airbrushed, photo-shopped images we are presented with day in and day out. It’s unrealistic to be completely flawless. And if you are, you lose a lot of character and such perfection will ultimately detract from your appearance.

Unfortunately, many physicians are concerned about telling the patient that she’s had enough for fear they may lose her to another practitioner. They are also making more money with each additional syringe of filler so many just do as they’re told, and take the money.

We’ve found at our practice that patients really respect the fact that Dr. Thompson is open and honest about what looks good and at what point they will become unnatural. This has secured their trust in him knowing he isn’t just making recommendations based on the financial reward but is honestly doing what he feels will provide them with the best results possible; even if it’s not what they were asking for.

Although similar to body dysmorphic disorder, this obsession has not official diagnostic title. But perhaps it’s no different than multiple visible tattoos, piercings, and makeup trends? What do you think? Where have you noticed this trend?


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