New Reality TV Programs

Create Unhealthy, Unrealistic Expectations of Plastic Surgery

American Society of Plastic Surgeons Reminds Patients Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is Serious Surgery

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2004

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – With the debut of MTV’s “I Want a Famous Face” and the soon-to-be-aired “The Swan” that culminates in a beauty contest, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) cautions the viewing public to have realistic expectations about cosmetic plastic surgery.

“The new wave of plastic surgery reality television is a serious cause for concern,” said Rod Rohrich, MD, ASPS president. “Some patients on these shows have unrealistic and, frankly, unhealthy expectations about what plastic surgery can do for them.”

Plastic surgery should not be viewed as an avenue to transform a person’s looks or life, according to Dr. Rohrich. Rather, plastic surgery can help refine and/or improve on someone’s natural appearances. Of particular concern to Rohrich is the young impressionable audience watching these shows who are already self-conscious about their body image.

“I have witnessed plastic surgery disasters where someone tried to look like someone else,” said Dr. Rohrich. “Patients need to be careful of any physician claiming they can make you look like someone else. Everyone has different and unique facial features and bone structures, which greatly influence the outcome of any plastic surgery procedure.”

“The public is being lulled into a sense that there are no real risks or complications in cosmetic plastic surgery. People need to understand that it is real surgery that should be performed by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery,” urged Dr. Rohrich. “It is extremely important that your plastic surgeon explain to you the risks as well as the benefits associated with the procedure(s) you are contemplating.”

To aid people considering plastic surgery, ASPS has developed an informational brochure titled “Making the Right Choice,” which offers information on managing expectations and questions to ask before plastic surgery.

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