May 8

How do you tell the truth about plastic surgery without sounding like a hater?

And the better question is…does anybody really want to hear it?

We chew on this daily. In Beverly Hills, the “plastic surgery capitol of the world,” patients are bombarded with advertisements, news stories and magazine articles telling them that this new procedure or that new laser can achieve Everything You Ever Wanted! in just ten minutes and with absolutely no down time.  If you hear it on ABC or read about it in US, it must be true, right?

Then we’re left trying to explain the full story you didn’t hear: sure, mini face lifts work, but the results simply won’t last that long. (Ten years?  Try two. Surveys show that, after a year, only 60% of patients are satisfied with their mini-lifts, and many require additional surgery.)  The “15 minute nose job”?  It hasn’t really been tested for safety, and you’ll be lucky if results last longer than six months. And if not done correctly, the “liquid facelift” can cause inflammatory reactions that then require steroid injections.

We tell patients, “Try to understand, it’s not that the procedure is bad or that the product doesn’t work.  It does…just not the way it’s advertised.”  When you promise miracles, disappointment is inevitable.

Great examples: the “Lifestyle Lift” or the “Insert plastic surgeon last name here” Lift.  Common perception holds that some or another plastic surgeon—often right here in Beverly Hills—revolutionized facelifts, and is now performing them under local anesthesia with “great!” results in just one hour.  The unsexy truth is that these procedures have been around for thirty years and are quite literally new in name only.  But why let a little thing like truth and reality spoil all the marketing fun?

So there’s the rub.

Awful Truth

(And PS: When one guy published testimonials from patients regarding poor results from one type of lift, he was sued.  Luckily, the courts just decided that the First Amendment was more important than lining somebody’s pockets.)

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