Plastic Surgery Procedures You Don’t Want

Cosmetic surgery is incredibly popular. Most procedures are safe and effective and improve patient’s appearance and self-esteem. But there are some procedures that are “not ready for prime time." On The Dr. Oz Show this week, I discuss three cosmetic surgery procedures that you don’t want to have.


Buttock implants

These silicone wonders of science are written about more than they are implanted (at least in the United States). Incisions are made close to the midline and silicone gel implants are placed over the muscle, but under the tough membrane that encloses the muscle. After the surgery, you are not supposed to sit on your buttocks for 2-3 weeks. How many of you can do that? Not many, and that’s one of the reasons this procedure has a high complication rate. Problems like fluid collection, movement of the implants, and infections plague many patients. A common problem is scarring around the implants, which leads to hard implants. Imagine sitting on two baseballs and you’ll get an idea of what you’re in for if your implants harden.


A better idea? Try 10 minutes of squats, 3 times a week. You’ll grow an ounce of muscle in 2 months.


Silicone lip injections

Doesn’t it sound great? One relatively inexpensive injection and those lips will be larger forever.  And that’s how silicone lip augmentations were billed. For a couple of decades, a small number of doctors and even some wannabe docs injected silicone to plump up those kissers.  Sometimes it worked out well, but the body sees silicone as foreign as a splinter. And it walls it off by encasing it with scar. That scar can result in lumps and if it gets infected…well, you’re out of luck. Because the only cure for that is to cut the silicone out.

A better idea? Hyaluronic acid injections. This lasts only a year, but hyaluronic acid is very safe.


Barbed sutures that lift the cheeks

The holy grail of plastic surgery … or so we thought only about 5 years ago. These little strands of plastic are studded with little fishhook-like barbs that are embedded into tissue. When they were lifted, the cheek, the jowl, the brows and the bands in the neck also were lifted. And this was all done in an hour under local anesthesia in the office.  Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? If only it worked. The problem was that many of these barbed sutures slipped. Imagine waking up in the morning with one side of your face lifted and the other side droopy? Within a few months, very few people actually saw a benefit from these things and 10% of people actually could feel the barbs through the skin. This required an operation to remove them. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a doc who does these things, since the main company yanked them from the market. 


A better idea? Fillers and lasers can help a bit, but when those sags are very visible, the answer is still a facelift. Plastic surgeons are working on a new noninvasive technology, but we’re not sure whether these new gadgets will pass the test of time. Click here to read about it.


Added to Plastic Surgery on Thu 11/18/2010